On April 1, a federal jury awarded over $2 million to a female Los Angeles police officer. The officer, Melissa Borck, said she had suffered discrimination, harassment, and retaliation and ultimately suffered a stillborn birth due to the stress.
According to court documents, the harassment occurred in 1996 at the Valley Traffic Division, shortly after Borck transferred there. One officer pushed her head to his lap and said, “I thought you’d never ask.” Male officers routinely ordered female officers to run errands for them, including picking up coffee and drycleaning. Borck also alleged she was retaliated against for reporting the harassment to Internal Affairs.
According to the lawsuit, once Borck became pregnant, her fellow officers commented on her breast size and asked to breast feed. Borck had a stillborn birth five months into her pregnancy in November of 1996.
Borck first filed her law suit in 1999. The jury from the first trial, held in 2007, apparently found discrimination and harassment but did not award damages. The first verdict was set aside due to juror misconduct.
The $2.3 million consists of $1 million in economic damages and $1.3 million in non-economic loss, including emotional distress.
Borck has said that 12 years later, she and fellow female officers still face harassment and retaliation from the department. This despite the fact that this past November, the city paid $2.25 million to another female officer (in the canine bomb unit) to settle a sexual harassment suit. That officer had alleged that her colleagues flashed their genitalia, made explicit remarks, and excluded her from training exercises.
So what does it take for some fools to learn? More than $4.5 million, apparently.
Source: Los Angeles Times