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  • LAPD Officer Awarded $1.2 Million in Harassment Suit

    A jury recently ordered the city of Los Angeles to pay $1.2 million to a black police officer who was harassed on a basis of his race by his white supervisor and other officers.

    Earl Wright accused his supervisor, Sgt. Peter Foster and various other officers of carrying out racial pranks and making racial comments that left him feeling “embarrassed and humiliated” throughout the course of his employment with the LAPD.

    One of several examples brought about during the lawsuit was on Wright’s 20th anniversary with the LAPD.  Wright’s supervisor had called Wright and his partner back to the station after having been out in the field so they could celebrate Wright’s 20th year of service with the LAPD.  In doing so, the lawsuit claimed that Foster presented Wright with a cake.  The cake featured a piece of fried chicken and a slice of watermelon on it.  According to court documents, Wright’s supervisors were aware of the harassment taking place, yet – did not take any actions to stop, or correct the behavior.

    The city had offered $10,000 to settle the claims. Wright’s lawyers offered to drop the lawsuit for $400,000.  No agreement was reached between the city and the officer, so the 4-day trial ensued, yielding the $1.2 Million judgment – an amount three times greater than what Wright and his attorneys were originally willing to settle for.

    LAPD Chief Charlie Beck (in a written statement) said he was “truly saddened by the events that occurred in that work environment perpetrated by a few individuals, including Officer Wright.”  But 7-digit payouts are not foreign to the LAPD of late.

    In fact, The Los Angeles City Council recently agreed to pay $1.25-million to a lesbian LAPD officer and a retired lesbian officer to settle claims by the two women that they were repeatedly sexually harassed by their supervisor.

    The first step to combating racial, sexual, or any type of employment-related harassment for that matter is to report it.  If you feel you are the victim of harassment, specifically sexual harassment as was the case with the lesbian officers, do not hesitate.  Protect your rights – and contact an Orange County sexual harassment attorney today.

    An Orange County sexual harassment lawyer can give you more information on California state laws as they apply specifically to your case.  An Orange County sexual harassment attorney can be reached at (949) 260-9131.