In a recent report issued by the Los Angeles Police Commission’s Inspector General, the City revealed that it has paid out over a million dollars in lawsuits and settlements over the last six years. Of that total, more than $31 million was paid to settle or to otherwise close employment discrimination lawsuits brought by current or former officers.
Employment discrimination cases include discrimination based on race, gender or ethnicity among others as well as sexual harassment or wrongful termination lawsuits. The City of Los Angeles spent just over $40 million defending employment cases over the same time period.
Two employment discrimination lawsuits have made news this year from the LAPD, one involving discrimination based on sexual orientation and the other involving race-based discrimination. A current and former officer received a $1.25 million payout for discrimination and harassment they experienced based on their sexual orientation. Within a week, a jury awarded another officer $1.25 million in the racial discrimination suit.
In 2012, the Los Angeles Times published a spreadsheet detailing the payouts made in lawsuits by cops against the City of Los Angeles and the LAPD. According to that information, the highest sexual harassment settlement was in 2010 for $3 million. In 2009, the City settled a separate sexual harassment lawsuit with another female officer for $2.25 million. The spreadsheet created by the LA Times includes 1000 jury verdicts and settlements paid out by the City and the LAPD. Also included in the listing were traffic and civil rights violations.
Source: Contra Costa Times, “Audit: LA pays out millions in lawsuits by police,” June 28, 2013