These days it is possible for women in Illinois to obtain jobs in sectors that previously were, and sometimes still are, predominantly held by men. Unfortunately, sometimes a workplace has a culture of discrimination against women, even if a woman is just as qualified for the job as a man is. This may be the case for a former police sergeant who claimed she was let go from her job and defamed after allegedly being discriminated against due to her gender. Her lawsuit was recently settled for $81,000.
From 2002 through June of 2015, the woman had worked for Oakton Community College until she was fired. She was the sole female at the time working in the school’s public safety department. There were previously two other females in the public safety department, who, along with her, filed complaints alleging they were discriminated against due to their gender.
According to the woman, the department chief, who was male, said one woman had “gorgeous eyes.” He subsequently did not consider her when other positions became open. Also, another woman reportedly stated that qualified males and females were not being treated equally. She was subsequently let go from her job. The woman’s lawsuit maintains that the department chief said that woman was “useless” and that she was just trying to cause trouble.
Per the woman’s lawsuit, she was not considered for a promotion, even though her qualifications were more substantial than those of the employee ultimately hired for the job. She claimed that this was an act of discrimination. She was then made the subject of a formal investigation, after which she was let go from her job. Following her firing, Oakton put her and another fired worker’s photographs on posters for a seminar regarding workers “playing games.” The woman claimed these posters defamed her.
While this settlement favors the woman, she unfortunately lost her job and had her reputation damaged due to what she claimed were acts of sex discrimination. It is important that anyone who believes they were the victim of sex discrimination in the workplace to take action. Sometimes it takes a lawsuit for a culture of discrimination to be rectified. Moreover, by filing a lawsuit, a worker can seek compensation for damages.
Source: Skokie Patch, “Fired Oakton Cop Who Reported ‘Systematic Gender Discrimination’ Receives $81K Settlement,” Jonah Meadows, Oct. 23, 2017