Milwaukee’s annual PrideFest is one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ celebrations. We are well aware of the tremendous strides made in the past few decades, as well as ongoing struggles for equality.
Bias and discrimination against gay people is still present in workplaces in America, as evidenced by a recent New Jersey city’s agreement to settle a lawsuit filed by a former police officer who said he worked in a hostile, homophobic environment until he was fired three years ago.
The former officer will receive $369,000 after a unanimous vote by the Cape May city council to accept an agreement. The city issued a statement saying the settlement is in its best interests, but it admitted no wrongdoing in the case of alleged harassment and wrongful termination.
The former officer is openly gay. He said he was harassed by some members of the public who used anti-gay slurs against him. A newspaper report says two Cape May residents harassed him for months, with one threatening violence.
The harassment and threat were witnessed by fellow police officers and brought to attention of department officials, who then launched an investigation. At the conclusion of the inquiry, the officer was fired.
City officials blamed his firing on his “erratic behavior” as a cop.
Of course, the large settlement casts doubt on the city’s version of events.
For those who suffer workplace harassment or retaliation, it can often make sense to fight back with the help of an attorney experienced in protecting worker rights.