A Connecticut court has just determined that a female police officer can
advance her claims of sex discrimination and sex harassment. One of her
primary complaints – the police chief repeatedly referred to her
as that “chick cop.”
Despite some progress toward equality in the work place, sex discrimination
and sexual harassment still continue. Fortunately, laws exist prohibiting
discrimination “because of” an employee’s sex. This
means that an employer cannot take a negative employment action against
an employee based on his or her sex including things such as failing to
hiring or promote, or firing someone because of their gender.
Sexual harassment is a different form of discrimination and involves unwelcome
conduct at work that creates such an uncomfortable situation at work that
it affects your job. In legal terms sexual harassment is describes as
“a hostile environment based on your sex that is sufficiently severe
and pervasive to alter the terms and conditions of your employment.”
If you have questions about sex discrimination or sexual harassment, it’s
a good idea to consult with a topGeorgia sex discrimination attorney right away.
In the recent sex discrimination case, the female police officer alleged
that the Police Department chief repeatedly referred to her as “that
chick cop” when talking to other department officials. She also
asserted that she was denied her requests for paid administrative leave
while male officers under substantially identical conditions were allowed
Based on the evidence of disparate treatment, along with the use of this
gender-based, derogatory description by a police chief to refer to a female
officer, the court determined that the female officer could maintain her
claims that she was subject to sex discrimination.
The court also looked at whether being called that “chick cop”
repeatedly could constitute sexual harassment. In order to make this determination,
the court evaluated the alleged conduct’s frequency, severity, its
physical, threatening, or humiliating characteristics, and whether the
conduct unreasonably interferes with work performance.
The court found that use of this phrase could constitute sexual harassment,
noting: “its professionally derogatory impact could plausibly contribute
to a hostile work environment because it could connote a lesser status
and lead to the conclusion that the differential treatment she experienced
was because of her gender.” Further, working under such circumstances
while under investigation could plausibly alter the officer’s working
conditions and interfere with her work performance.
As a result, the court found that the officer could proceed with both claims
against the police chief as well as seeking punitive damages against the
chief in her individual capacity.
Unfortunately gender discrimination and harassment still continue. If you
believe that you may have suffered sexual harassment or discrimination
at work, please contact the top
Georgia discrimination lawyers at The Buckley Law Firm, LLC for an immediate consultation.