A jury awarded three female Glendale, CA, police officers $3.5 million after finding that the police department created a hostile work environment and failed to prevent sexual harassment. The women said in their lawsuit, filed in December 2001, that they were groped and propositioned by male officers, denied promotion opportunities and coveted assigments, threatened with the loss of their jobs if they refused to date the harassing officers, and shown pornography during roll call, according to the Associated Press.
The city of Glendale spent $1 million to defend the case, according to the Los Angeles Times. Lawyer Brad Gage, representing the plaintiffs, said that the department should take further steps to discipline the officers accused of misconduct; instead, some of these officers have been promoted or allowed to retire with full benefits, AP reports. Each of the three women officers involved in the lawsuit has suffered health problems related to stress.
Women make up only about 10 percent of the Glendale police department, and only two women hold the rank of sergeant or higher, the Times reports.