The Los Angeles Police Department has been plagued by bad acts by officers that have resulted in a series of employment law cases. The most recent, a wrongful termination case, ended in a $2.8 million verdict for a police officer who claimed he was retaliated against for coming forward with information about discrimination based on race within the department.
Among the claims that have led to the payments of tens of millions of dollars to LAPD employees are retaliation, harassment and workplace injuries.
Pedro Torres testified in a coworker’s employment discrimination trial that a supervisor consistently made derogatory comments about African Americans and Latinos. His testimony helped secure a multi-million dollar verdict against the City. Afterward, Torres was suspended for his work on a kidnapping case in retaliation for his testimony against the department.
Torres was forced to retire from the LAPD because of the retaliation. He suffered anxiety and as a result, a psychologist had found him unfit for duty with the police department.
Over half of the jury award was to cover back pay and lost wages for Torres.
The City had initially refused to settle the case for $700,000 claiming that it is willing to settle cases that it believes has merit, but will fight those it believes do not. The City has also said that it plans to appeal this latest employment discrimination and retaliation case.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Another costly verdict goes against the LAPD,” November 29, 2012