Monday, May 9, 2011

LAPD Sued for Sexual Orientation Discrimination and Harassment

While neither the Civil Rights Act of 1964 nor any other federal law prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation, some states such as California have taken the initiative in disallowing employment discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), a person’s sexual orientation is considered a “protected characteristic”. All private and public employers within California are prohibited from discriminating, harassing, or retaliating against employees for their perceived sexual orientation regardless of whether they’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual.

However, in Los Angeles, the police department is being sued by a former police sergeant who worked in the Los Angeles Police District’s Media Relation Section, claiming that he was discriminated against, harassed, and retaliated on during his employment.

According to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by Sgt. Ronald Crump, his supervisor Lt. John Romero repeatedly harassed him because he is a homosexual. He alleged that he was referred to by Romero as “the new Ruby minus the heels”, was even told that “I was a religion major at Liberty University. Jerry Falwell (a conservative televangelist who founded said school) would roll over in his grave if he knew I hired you.”

When Crump reported the harassment to Mary Grady, who oversaw the unit, Romero talked to him and said, “Don’t forget I hired you even though you’re gay.” Crump then elevated his complaint to Police Chief Bill Bratton in June 2009 but instead, he was transferred after his vacation to an “undesirable assignment”. He claims that he was denied promotions because of his complaint.

In response to Crump’s accusations, the city says that Crump’s transfer had nothing to do with his sexual orientation. Grady allegedly transferred him because he did not work well with Romero and that the change of his assignment did not affect his rank or pay.

Every employee, regardless of his race, national origin, religion, gender, disability, and in California, even sexual orientation, deserve to work in a workplace free from discrimination and harassment.

So if you have any questions about discrimination especially about sexual orientation discrimination, you may submit your queries or case for analysis to the website of the Mesriani Law Group at or call them at their toll free number at 1-866-325-4529.