$100,000 Settlement in Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Case Against Police Department

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Kauai Police Department in Hawaii will pay $100,000 and furnish other relief to settle charges of unlawful retaliation filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

A female police sergeant filed EEOC discrimination charges alleging that she was sexually harassed and retaliated against for reporting the harassment, becoming the target of several internal affairs investigations since 2011. The EEOC investigated the allegations and ultimately found reasonable cause to believe that the police department retaliated against the female sergeant for reporting the harassment, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The sergeant's sexual harassment allegations were not filed within EEOC's statutory time limit--within 300 days from the last discriminatory act-so EEOC lacked jurisdiction to investigate those claims.

Without admitting liability, the Kauai Police Department entered into a conciliation agreement with EEOC avoiding litigation. Aside from the monetary relief, the department agreed to clear the sergeant's record of all references to the EEOC charges and internal affairs investigations. The department also will: establish or revise its policies against discrimination, harassment and retaliation; hire an outside equal employment opportunity consultant to conduct training on anti-discrimination laws to the department's management and non-management employees on an annual basis; post a notice to employees and permit the dissemination of a public press release on the matter. The EEOC will monitor compliance with the agreement, which is to remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2018.

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