Public employees have rights beyond those in Title VII

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

People living in the United States are protected from state actions that violate the Constitution, a right that goes beyond those accorded to employees under Title VII.

Recent case: While training at the police academy, Crystal was allegedly abused by an instructor. She said he once kicked her in the back, dislocating her shoulder. He allegedly doused her with pepper spray, damaging her eyes. Crystal said male cadets weren’t abused like that.

She sued, alleging deprivation of her civil rights under color of state law. That’s a charge typically used by citizens who claim they are victims of police brutality, not employees.

But the court said that nothing in Title VII precluded additional civil rights claims just because the victim is an employee. (Henley v. Brown, et al., No. 11-2561, 8th Cir., 2012)

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