Bay Pines Medical Center, a Department of Veterans Affairs facility in St. Petersburg, has been sued by police officers who allege they were retaliated against when they came forward with discrimination charges.
Seven current and former officers allege that, after they complained about discrimination or were witnesses in discrimination cases, they were disciplined, denied training and passed over for promotions.
The plaintiffs are a diverse group. For example, one of the officers, who is Native American, complained that he had been called a “cowboy.” Another, a veteran who suffered from a traumatic brain injury, claims he was denied time off for treatment. And a female officer complained that a supervisor made sexually explicit comments to her while they were working. All claim they brought their complaints to the appropriate office within the VA and were ultimately punished.
This isn’t the first time the hospital has been sued for alleged retaliation. In 2009, another group of employees that included several doctors won a $3.73 million verdict.