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Settlement reached for police chief's workplace discrimination

In a discrimination case that made national headlines, a city in another state recently agreed to pay a settlement to a former police chief. The city also agreed to implement reform in the police department in order to prevent future incidents of the same nature. Obtaining financial compensation and pushing a company or employer to make critical changes are both driving factors in some workplace discrimination claims in Wisconsin.

The former police chief initially accepted the job back in 2011. At the time he made significant changes to the department, putting a significant emphasis on the local community. In fact, he noted that during his time employed by that department, five years passed without any homicides in the local community.

However, he was abruptly fired in June 2015 following a closed-door vote by the city council. His firing came as a surprise to many in the community, but the former police chief thought he knew why he had been fired. In a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, he said that he was fired because he refused to fire a detective and lieutenant who had filed claims of discrimination. Those two workers said they were routinely subject to harassment for their race. The city denied this assertion.

While some of the legal proceedings are still going on, the agreed-upon settlement could be a good first step for this employee. For Wisconsin workers who have experienced workplace discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination or more, pursuing compensation through a civil suit could also be a good idea. Compensation in these instances is especially important as most victims experience an immediate loss in income and even future earning potential.

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