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Police officers file race discrimination lawsuit against employer

On Nov. 27, it was reported that a lawsuit was filed in California alleging that the San Gabriel Police Department frequently used racial slurs in order to disparage those of Asian descent. This included making disparaging remarks about colleagues.

According to the complaint, five police officers of Asian descent were subjected to a hostile work environment as they frequently experienced harassment that was based on race or national origin. They also claimed that they were denied assignments and promotions, all of which went to non-Asian officers who had less law enforcement experience and training. Further, the defendants claimed that they faced harsher discipline and scrutiny than their non-Asian colleagues.

When it comes to the harassment, the plaintiffs accused the department's non-Asian officers of using exaggerated Asian accents in a mocking fashion and using derogatory phrases. When the officers were called to accident scenes, the plaintiffs also said that they made constant remarks about "their people" being poor drivers and being responsible for causing accidents. The plaintiffs are seeking economic and special damages in addition to attorney's fees and court costs.

When employees of a specific race are consistently skipped over for promotion or if they face consistent race discrimination, it can have an impact on their ability to earn an income and advance in their career. Although discrimination based on an employee's race is illegal, some employers, managers and colleagues may continue to harass or discriminate against individuals of a certain race. A workplace discrimination attorney could determine if an employee has a claim against his or her employer and assist with filing the lawsuit. The attorney may also assist with collecting evidence that demonstrates that the employer has a history of race discrimination.

Source: NBC News, "Asian-American cops sue police department alleging racial discrimination", Chris Fuchs, Nov. 27, 2017

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