Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times had an interesting story about the Los Angeles Fire Department, which has been hit recently with a number of lawsuits over allegations of discrimination and harassment.
According to the paper, in 2009, voters approved the use of a watchdog group to review how the LAFD handled employee misconduct cases. This was in response to the growing number of employment lawsuits filed. Between 2005 and 2014, the LAFD spent more than $19 million in payouts stemming from allegations of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
In one case, the City Council agreed to settle a discrimination case for $1.5 million after a black firefighter said his LAFD colleagues deliberately fed him dog food. Remarkably, there have even been alleged complications involving assessor Stephen Miller, the man who was tasked with reviewing misconduct cases, who was accused by three city lawyers of racial and gender discrimination, according to the Times.
To read the in-depth story, you can click on the source link at the bottom of this page. Sadly, during the 2009-10 fiscal years alone, the LAFD reportedly spent more than $10 million on payouts for discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims. This is not acceptable, and if the allegations are true, there needs to be a change in culture within the department.
Why Should I Speak to an Attorney About Harassment or Discrimination at Work?
No employee should have to face discrimination or harassment at work, as employers have a duty to protect workers. Employees who experience these issues are protected under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
Most forms of harassment and discrimination are illegal. If you experience this at work, you should talk our Los Angeles labor attorneys and explain what happened to you. Our lawyers can let you know how to proceed with a claim. Depending on the situation, you may have to report incidents to a state agency or to your employer before you can move forward with litigation.
Keep following our blog for Los Angeles employment law news. Our initial consultation is free, so there are no financial ramifications to explain your situation to our attorneys. You should not have to suffer harassment or forms of discrimination on the job.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob– Los Angeles employment attorneys