Awkward: Bias suit reveals state troopers’ Asian sex trips

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A race discrimination lawsuit filed in 2011 by a former Pennsylvania State Police corporal got complicated late last year when allegations of other troopers’ overseas sexual hijinks surfaced. A relatively straightforward suit alleging the corporal was unfairly disciplined because he is black turned into a tale of sordid intrigue involving members of the Pennsylvania governor’s security detail and the international sex trade.

The corporal was part of the elite force tasked with guarding the governor and lieutenant governor during the administration of former Gov. Ed Rendell. So were the alleged sex tourists, who are white.

In December 2012, the Associated Press ran a story detailing Asian sex trips taken by three members of the governor’s security detail between 2002 and 2008. The FBI had investigated the trips, as had the State Police Internal Affairs Division. They found evidence that three lieutenants made repeated trips to Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. Court records showed that all three admitted to hiring prostitutes.

Around the same time, members of the governor’s detail—including the corporal—were investigated and punished for overtime abuse. The corporal appears to be alleging the white officers were not punished for their Asian sex trips, while he had been punished for the overtime violations.

Note: The corporal’s case may not be strong, but it certainly is embarassing. Avoid similar problems. Examin­­ing employee discipline to ensure similar infractions receive similar punishments can help prevent discrimination charges.

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