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Historic Anti-Discrimination Injunction Awarded against Police Department

In a precedent setting injunction awarded earlier this week, the United States District Court of Northern Illinois found that Cook County’s Forest Preserve District law enforcement agency had engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation against its female employees. Plaintiff Cynthia Spina filed employment discrimination charges against the agency in 1997, after she was the victim of severe sexual harassment and discrimination, and subsequent retaliation after she filed a complaint with EEOC. The court ordered a permanent injunction against the Department that prohibits it from causing, encouraging, condoning, or permitting sexual harassment, discrimination, or retaliation against its female employees. The Department must also develop a comprehensive sexual harassment and discrimination policy, and establish a zero-tolerance policy for violators. Penny Harrington, founding director of the National Center for Women & Policing, was an expert witness on the case, and commented that the plaintiff had endured “one of the worst examples of harassment and discrimination of women officers that I have seen since the days before the EEOC rulings on sexual harassment were issued.” Congratulations to both Cynthia Spina, and her attorney Monica McFadden for this historic victory!

Sources:

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Injunction, 07/30/02

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