Published on:

The Pervasive Problem of Anti-LGBT Discrimination in Law Enforcement, as Seen Across Multiple New Jersey Communities

In a perfect world, discrimination in the workplace would be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, employment discrimination remains a reality for lots of people in New Jersey. What’s worse is the extensiveness to which certain groups face this kind of discrimination or harassment simply due to their chosen profession, such as women in STEM careers, where roughly half have experienced discrimination, according to a 2018 report from NBC News. Regrettably, women in STEM are not the only ones who face these sorts of improper hurdles every day on the job. Regardless of your profession, if you’ve been harmed by improper bias at work, contact a knowledgeable New Jersey employment attorney to discuss your legal options.

In addition to the example of women in STEM careers, another group in New Jersey that appears to be facing substantial problems in terms of employment bias are gay law enforcement officers. Recently, a North Jersey officer found it necessary to litigate based upon the anti-gay bias he was encountering at his job. The officer, J.T., alleged that he was “subject to discrimination and homophobic comments as a police officer in the borough,” according to a report.

Unfortunately, J.T. was not alone. In another nearby Bergen County borough, R.D. was allegedly fired in a case of anti-gay bias and retaliation. According to the officer, he objected to a borough councilman’s use of anti-gay slurs in relation to a school board member and, shortly after he complained, the borough trumped up charges against him and fired him, reported.

Also in Bergen County, an officer in yet another borough allegedly suffered considerable harassment on the job, including lewd gesticular taunts and derogatory comments that all related to the officer’s being a gay man. After being fired, the officer sued and was later reinstated with back pay. The sheriff in that borough was eventually forced to resign after evidence surfaced in which the sheriff was heard using anti-gay slurs during a staff meeting, reported.

Back in 2016, NBC Philadelphia reported on an officer in Cape May who secured a settlement in excess of $360,000 as a result of his employment discrimination lawsuit. The officer, who was a gay man, allegedly suffered through a hostile work environment (that included “the most vile anti-gay slurs,” among other things) and also a wrongful termination.

These anecdotes of legal actions display a potentially disturbing pattern, one in which LGBT people in law enforcement face a disproportionate share of discrimination at work. As a 2013 UCLA School of Law report stated, LGBT “people in law enforcement face pervasive discrimination,” with some 40% of all cases of sexual orientation discrimination involving public employees being people who worked either in law enforcement or corrections.

Certainly there are many things that need to change, but there is one thing you can do if you’re harmed by anti-LGBT bias in your place of work is take legal action. The diligent New Jersey employment attorneys at Phillips & Associates are prepared and equipped to take on your case and deliver the results you need. Contact us to find out more about your options. Reach us online or at (609) 436-9087 today to set up a free and confidential consultation and to find out how we can help you.

More blog posts:

How Disparaging Comments by Co-Workers May Provide You With a Viable Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity Discrimination Case in New Jersey, New Jersey Employment Lawyer Blog, Nov. 21, 2018

A Male Principal Called a ‘Brazen Hussy’ by a School Board Members Settles His New Jersey Discrimination Lawsuit for $307K, New Jersey Employment Lawyer Blog, Sept. 21, 2018

Contact Information