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Retaliation Over Sexual Harassment Complaints in Police Departments

May 8th, 2020

A female police officer recently sued the Philadelphia Police Department over a pattern of alleged sexual harassment and retaliation in the workplace. Female officers and other women should be aware of how to handle harassment in the workplace, and law enforcement leaders should use policies to create a better work environment for everyone.

Departments around the nation should enact policies that are taught every year to ensure the safety of their employees. At the same time, anyone promoted to a position of authority should be trained on how to handle sexual harassment claims and how they are investigated.

Retaliation in the Workplace

Retaliation in the workplace is illegal and can include actions such as a demotion, discipline, or a salary reduction, among others. Retaliation by a superior can be obvious or subtle. If you start to see negative patterns after reporting a complaint to your supervisor regarding sexual harassment, you may have reason to be suspicious.

How Can Police Departments Create New Policies?

Police departments should ensure the safety of their female officers and create a harmonious work environment by:

  • Allowing third-party reporting: Anyone reporting sexual harassment should be free to go to a third-party superior who is not in the direct chain of command.
  • Strictly monitoring fraternization: Police departments may choose to ban fraternization, but they will find many married or partnered couples working with the same police force. Partners should not be allowed to supervise one another. Fraternization should be strictly monitored, reported, and halted quickly where applicable. If the department wishes to allow fraternization, the revelation of a relationship should lead to an immediate reassignment of one or both parties.
  • Allowing independent investigators to oversee all reported cases: Every department should assign independent investigators who have no conflicts of interest.
  • Enforcing police unions and labor groups to get involved in every sexual harassment claim: To that end, female labor leaders should be assigned to manage these cases, and they should also be free of conflicts of interest.
  • Retraining, reprimanding, reassigning, and terminating: An officer who is found guilty of harassment should be disciplined according to department policy as quickly as possible.

If police departments take the issue of sexual harassment seriously, they can uproot toxic habits that often overwhelm law enforcement agencies. Workers experiencing retaliation at work should seek legal counsel from an experienced sexual harassment lawyer.

Bucks County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Help Victims Suffering from Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Reach out to one of our Bucks County sexual harassment lawyers at The Gold Law Firm P.C. if you have been harassed on the job or faced retaliation for reporting an incident. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County.

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