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Police chief charged with sexual misconduct, discrimination

The city of Beverly Hills recently paid over 2.3 million to settle complaints against the city’s female police chief, Sandra Spagnoli. During her two years as chief, employees alleged Spagnoli engaged in multiple acts of discrimination and sexual misconduct.

Spagnoli served on the board of International Association of Chiefs of Police and has received numerous praises for promoting female leadership in the police force. Unfortunately, her actions as chief told a different story.

Over 20 employees have come forward with complaints against the chief. According to a recent article, employees allege Spagnoli engaged in the following actions:

  • Referring to Jewish yarmulkes as “funny little hats”
  • Asking about “dressing Mexican” at the home of a Latino employee
  • Being “repulsed” by LGBT employees
  • Giving promotions to officers who participated in sexual relations with her

The attorney for the plaintiffs said he expects several more former and current employees to file complaints against Spagnoli in the next few months. Additionally, brave employees across the nation are beginning to speak out against workplace discrimination and sexual misconduct.

The New York Times reported this summer that the head of the New Mexico State Police discriminated against officers based on their sex and sexual orientation. Employees in the police department also alleged the chief exposed himself inappropriately in front of workers. While it can be extremely difficult to speak out, it is important that police chiefs like these and other employers face the consequences of their actions.

Employees should never have to experience discrimination and sexual harassment  at work. California employment laws prohibit employers from engaging in discrimination and sexual misconduct in the workplace. Sadly, many employees still are forced to experience these situations daily. If you have been a victim of workplace discrimination or sexual misconduct, employment attorneys are here to help.