Jay Brome worked as a California Highway Patrol officer (CHP) for 20 years. During his time with the department, he alleged that he faced harassment, discrimination and lack of support as a gay man. Brome has filed a suit against the CHP.
He was taunted and threatened
Brome alleged the harassment started when he was in police academy. He recalled an instructor telling him to take off his skirt and act like a man. The CHP officer also endured homophobic slurs and physical threats.
Other officers failed to back him up
Even more disturbing, Brome alleged that other officers failed to provide backup when he was on patrol. He recalled being the only officer on the scene when investigating four different fatalities while working in Contra Costa County. Brome stated having only one officer on the scene for a fatality was unheard of, and he felt his safety was endangered.
The ill treatment took a mental toll
Things got so bad that Brome would be driving in his patrol car, and he would start crying for no reason. He also admitted to getting the urge to kill himself while on duty. According to his lawsuit, his doctor ordered him to take a medical stress leave in January 2015.
This is the second lawsuit Brome has filed. His first lawsuit was dismissed because it was filed past the statute of limitations. However, his new suit argues this dismissal was an error.
Other officers allege discrimination
Other CHP officers have filed discrimination suits against the department. Four other CHP also wrote declarations in support of Brome’s claims of discrimination.
Discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) prohibits workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. Harassment is also illegal. Both acts are violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. California’s Fair Employment and Housing act also prohibits discrimination due to sexual orientation.
People who have experienced discrimination or harassment based on their sexual orientation have the right to pursue legal action against their employers.