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More discrimination suits filed against Savannah police chief

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

When it rains, it pours. Recently, 11 Los Angeles police officers filed discrimination and harassment suits against Savannah Police Chief Michael Berkow, who came to Georgia dogged by a sexual harassment suit from his tenure at the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

Savannah officials support Berkow, pointing to a significant reduction in crime since his appointment. Berkow admitted in court that he carried on an illicit affair with a subordinate at the LAPD, which prompted the initial lawsuit. But he defended his conduct as private because the affair took place off-site when he was off duty.

Our take: Off-duty conduct is no excuse. What counts is the relationship between the harasser and the victim, not where the conduct occurred. Employers don’t get a pass just because a manager made the pass off duty and off premises.

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