The City of Philadelphia is $10 million dollars poorer this morning after a jury returned a verdict in favor of three police officers who were retaliated against after they objected to the racial discrimination inflicted on fellow police officers.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the three plaintiffs, who are white, objected when their fellow black police officers were subjected to a hostile work environment. The plaintiffs reported to their supervisors that two black police officers were being mistreated and that one police officer made racial comments to a motorist. The supervisor responded by telling the plaintiffs he would make their life “a living hell” for sticking up for their co-workers.
This is a great example of the protections employees have when they assert their rights or the rights of others. Federal law gives employees the power to report harassment or discrimination in the workplace. And an employer cannot punish or retaliate against an employee for reporting the illegal treatment. If the employer does retaliate against the whistleblower, the employee has a claim for retaliation against the employer. Even if the whistleblower did not suffer the discrimination he originally objected to, the whistleblower is still protected. Objecting to racial discrimination is not just a moral imperative but a legal right.
If you feel you’ve been retaliated against, contact an attorney who practices employment law to protect your rights.