In this day and age, it is difficult to accept that discrimination still plays a significant role in some U.S. workplaces. Discrimination in employment has been explicitly outlawed since 1964, but unfortunately people are still sometimes treated unfairly, demoted or fired on the basis of their age, sex, race, disability, religion and a number of other classifications. When this happens, the victims of discrimination can seek legal recourse.
A Howard County, Maryland, police officer recently filed a lawsuit against the police department and her supervisor accusing them of racial discrimination. The police officer is a black woman, and she claims that she has been treated unfairly in the workplace due to her race.
The woman, who happens to have been the only black officer in her police squad, has stated that her former supervisor gave her negative and misleading performance evaluations, which led to her being denied pay raises.
The former supervisor has maintained that she provided a poor rating in some of the performance review categories because the officer's arrest numbers were lower than those of other officers. According to The Baltimore Sun, during a four-month period in 2011 this officer netted 64 citations and the average officer issued 95.
The woman also received poor ratings in a number of additional categories.
The department has asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit.
The future of this particular case is unknown, but it is an example of the path that is available to those who have been discriminated against in the workplace. It is often possible to file a discrimination lawsuit seeking damages for lost wages among other things, and in many cases these claims can be handled out of court with the assistance of an employment law attorney. In other cases, it is necessary to go to court to prove one's case.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Howard police officer sues department, charges racial discrimination," Luke Lavoie, March 6, 2013