An officer with the Bob Hope Airport Police Department who claims he was harassed by his supervisor for being gay has agreed to accept $30,000 to settle his claims, the Burbank Leader reported on February 21, 2012.
The Leader said that when Richard Ellis started as an officer with the Bob Hope Airport police department, Police Sergeant Henry Gomez was initially friendly and often complimented him on his work. Ellis alleges that changed after he was referred to in a derogatory way by his superior. The lawsuit states that “Gomez allegedly tried to stunt Ellis’ progress within the department and took actions to erode his standing,” according to the Leader. Despite being notified of the situation, Ellis claims in the lawsuit that the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority did nothing to stop the harassment. Court documents also said Ellis claimed “a police sergeant made disparaging remarks about him over his sexual orientation and took retaliatory actions against him, such as making false claims about the number of days he took off,” the Leader reported.
Court documents stated the airport authority and Gomez deny all of Ellis’ allegations, according to the Leader, but dismissal is likely because Ellis’ attorney has signed off on the settlement. California is among 21 states (including the District of Columbia) which prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. We should also note that California is one of 15 states (including the District of Columbia) which prohibit discrimination at work based on gender identity.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob – Los Angeles employment lawyers