Former St. Cloud officer sues for sexual-orientation bias — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Former St. Cloud officer sues for sexual-orientation bias

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According to a complaint by former St. Cloud Police Officer Sean Lathrop, he was a rising star in the department until his supervisors found out he was gay. Then his career prospects suddenly dimmed. Now he’s suing.

Lathrop claims his career was doing fine until the Minneapolis Police Department in May 2009 asked the St. Cloud P.D. if Lathrop was available for community outreach duty during the Twin Cities Gay Pride weekend. The letter containing the request revealed his sexual orientation to Lathrop’s supervisors in St. Cloud.

Lathrop claims that he soon began receiving undesirable assignments, and the department initiated several investigations against him. A senior officer allegedly told him his “sexuality was getting in the way of his career.”

After Lathrop filed discrimination charges with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, he claims the treatment got even worse. He was pulled from the department’s investigation unit and was targeted in an investigation of “integrity issues.”

Lathrop ultimately resigned and took a job with a human services agency.

His lawsuit, which names the chief of police and four superiors, seeks damages described by his attorneys as “well into six figures.”

St. Cloud City Attorney Matthew Straehling said in a statement that Lathrop’s assignments and disciplinary issues had “no relation whatsoever” to his sexuality.

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