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Police officer sues city for workplace discrimination

It is easy to believe that discrimination is no longer a problem in the workplace, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Even if you are not the one being discriminated against, there is a chance that this could be happening to one of your coworkers.

An openly gay police officer in Philadelphia is suing the city for workplace discrimination, as well as harassment as a result of his sexual orientation. The 15-year veteran of the police force filed suit against the city last week in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. In the lawsuit, the man claims that "police officers known to be gay are subject to harassment" by others within the city of Philadelphia's Police Department.

The man states that the harassment began in early 2009 when a high ranking official within the department saw him at a local gay bar. The official in question no longer works for the city after being sentenced to 60 months in prison for pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion.

The lawsuit claims that the police officer filed an antibias complaint with the department, which led to him being assigned the graveyard shift. Along with this, several of his coworkers began to treat him poorly.

This is not the first time the man has brought this trouble to the forefront, previously filing complaints with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. However, these complaints were dismissed.

The man is seeking more than $50,000 in punitive and compensatory damages.

Even though it is 2013, workplace discrimination is still a big problem throughout the United States. This holds true in all industries, and targets a variety of people based on age, race and sexual orientation. It is important to beware of acts of discrimination, either towards yourself or your coworkers. When discrimination is not addressed and dealt with by your superiors, a civil action may be your only recourse.

Source: South Florida Gay News, "Gay Cop Sues Philly for Harassment" Timothy Cwiek, Sep. 24, 2013

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