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Police department accused of wrongful termination

In Minnesota and other states, many fields of work require a large degree of professionalism, collaboration, and camaraderie. In fact, such traits can actually be crucial to protecting workers in potentially hazardous and high-stress professions. For public safety workers like law enforcement in particular, a certain level of trust and teamwork in the ranks can go a long way to ensuring the safety of all officers. When incidents of mistreatment and retaliation do occur, then, they can have very serious (and dangerous) consequences for police officers.

A police officer in Long Beach, California, claims that he began experiencing serious issues at work at the end of 2009, when he was assigned to two specific sergeants. The officer had already been on the force for seven years at that point and he notes that he didn’t face any complaints up to that point. However, he alleges that he was repeatedly harasses for being gay once the two sergeants were in charge.

The police officer also accuses his superiors of retaliating against him and compromising his safety. In one incident that allegedly took place in early 2010, the officer claims that he was reprimanded by the two sergeants for allegedly mishandling a domestic violence call, even though he contends he followed department protocol. Later that year, the officer was allegedly forced to respond to a high priority domestic violence call alone because he received no backup assistance.

After filing complaints against the two sergeants, the officer’s concerns were allegedly neither investigated nor taken seriously by his superiors. Instead, he claims he was fired. The officer has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against his employers and the city, and the case is scheduled for a hearing this month.

The lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial early next year. 

Source: Press-Telegram, “Fired Long Beach police officer suit alleges wrongful termination, harassment,” Phillip Zonkel, August 6, 2013

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