A federal jury recently found that the Beaumont Police Department discriminated against a police officer because of her gender. The jury awarded $150,000 to Officer Tina Lewallen, who sued the department for gender discrimination in 2005 after filing an unsuccessful complaint with the EEOC in 2003.
Lewallen argued that she was denied a position in the department’s criminal investigations division and on the Jefferson County Narcotics Task Force. According to Lewallen, she was among four officers who applied for two positions in the special crimes unit, both of which were filled by men.
The police department argued that the city did not have a pattern or practice of discriminating against women. It noted that the department had nine female specialists by the end of 2003, seven of whom were in the criminal investigations division.
Apparently the jury saw things differently.
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