Sometimes it might feel as if virtually all major racial and gender barriers have been hurdled. But there remain boardrooms, clubs, companies and even cities where cultural walls and challenges still stand tall.
We read recently of a police officer whose trailblazing in a Detroit suburb was met with hostility. The officer said that when she was hired in Warren in 2006, she was the first African American to join the city's police force. She recently filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court stating that several people in the department discriminated against her on the basis of gender and race and that officials did nothing to stop it despite her complaints.
The city of Warren is named in the suit along with 11 individuals. Her attorney alleges that together the defendants "have wrecked this woman’s life."
Documents filed in court state that the officer was "isolated, disparaged and slandered" by supervisors and fellow officers.
Among the allegations against the defendants are a pair of claims involving proper back-up for the office: she says she was not provided "proper backup in timely fashion due to her race and her gender" and also says her white partner was told that his life was in danger because he was partners with someone who would not receive proper back-up because of her race.
She says that she was regularly subjected to racial slurs and demeaning sexual comments by fellow officers.
She has been forced to disability leave, she said, by the hostile work environment, bias and discrimination.
But like so many others, she is fighting back with the help of an employment law attorney. Contact the Milwaukee law firm of Alan C. Olson & Associates, s.c., for information about how we can help you.