Texas Police Officers Allege Workplace Discrimination

During the summer of 2013, 19 police officers working in an elite Texas division were swiftly reassigned. Now, 13 of them are claiming that their reassignments were a form of workplace discrimination. They hope to have the opportunity to prove their workplace discrimination case and receive remuneration from their Austin employer.

Their reassignments varied widely and included patrol duty, among other jobs. Now, the union that governs them has brought to light concerns that moving 19 highly trained police officers -- some of them with supervisor and commander roles -- was a red flag. Union officials allege that it makes no sense to reassign that many people from an approximately 85-person division that looks into crimes like human and drug trafficking, prostitution, and gangs.

The types of workplace discrimination that the officers say occurred vary, according to each person's background and individual experiences. Some feel they were targeted because of their race, particularly those of Hispanic descent. Others feel that they were seen by their supervisors as too old to be kept in their current positions.

Legal representatives speaking on behalf of the officers contend that the move to reassign the offers was an illegal way to "weed out" certain officers. Authorities speaking on behalf of the employer have stated that there were other reasons for the reassignment of the 19 officers. They cite a requirement for a "cultural shift" as one explanation. The workplace discrimination claims that have been submitted to the Workforce Commission in Texas are pending further investigation.

Source: khou.com, APD accused of discrimination in transfer of officers, Tony Plohetski, Jan. 13, 2014

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