Louisiana police supervisor is disciplined after creating a hostile work environment for employees

Some workplaces become bad environments because of inappropriate actions by a person in a supervisory or managerial position. When this happens, victims should contact a lawyer to get help.  

The New Orleans Civil Service Commission has moved to discipline a high ranking Louisiana police officer who discriminated against other employees during the course of his normal job duties. 

Former homicide officer removed from his position after two year history of problems

The sanctions against the officer include a demotion from his previous rank as head of the homicide division, as well as a 25 day unpaid suspension. While the officer claims he is totally innocent, the events that got him in trouble can be traced over a two year period where he made numerous racist and homophobic statements to those under his command. These events were detailed in an eleven page report of findings, after interviews were conducted with over forty witnesses who recounted his workplace behavior. His behavior was egregious enough that the local government was willing to risk negative publicity by releasing the story to the public. 

The deputy superintendent of the New Orleans department released a statement regarding the importance of the integrity of the homicide division, and how such misconduct cannot be tolerated. He said that because of the gravity of saving lives and apprehending murder suspects, the division cannot afford to deal with any unnecessary distractions or misbehavior. 

The supervisor in question had initially joined the New Orleans department in 1991 and maintained a clean record for many years. In 2017, an internal affairs complaint was made regarding sexual harassment and racist comments. Another sergeant within the homicide division had first noticed his behavior at this time. This same sergeant also become the victim of the supervisor’s homophobic taunts and unwanted touching on numerous occasions. Another employee claims that he approached him and made comments about having sexual thoughts and touching himself while they were actively working on a murder scene where three people had just died.   

An additional incident involved an employee who was working at his desk when the supervisor approached him from behind, massaged his shoulders, and began making sexual comments to him. A secretary at the department also said that he accused her of giving preferential treatment to certain people based on their race around the same time, with no credible evidence. 

Based on some of these allegations, the suspect was transferred out of the homicide division temporarily and suspended without pay by internal affairs. Their decision was based on rules about workplace harassment and discrimination. 

Lawsuits against employers for hostile workplaces

Whenever a workplace becomes a consistent source of stress for workers due to problems unrelated to their job duties, this hostile work environment can become the grounds for a lawsuit. This is especially true if discrimination, harassment, or retaliation is coming from an employee’s superiors. The employer may end up having to pay out damages to the victim in a civil lawsuit. 

Get assistance after a workplace incident 

To learn more about the possibility of a lawsuit against an employer in Baton Rouge or anywhere in the state of Louisiana, call Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf. They will provide guidance related to your situation and an overview of the process of filing a case against a business or government entity.

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