Fighting Back: Former Ocala Officer Files Federal Lawsuit Of Discrimination
A federal lawsuit has been filed by a former Ocala Police Department officer alleging discrimination based on her sex. The plaintiff, Casey Walsh, also claims that a hostile work environment was created during her tenure as an officer and that she was retaliated against when she filed a complaint.
This Florida case is significant in its representation of fighting discrimination at work and unlawful actions in the workplace. A federal lawsuit is filed to hold people accountable for discrimination and other illegal behaviors. The following explains the pertinent details of the case.
ABOUT THE ALLEGED DISCRIMINATION CASE
Walsh filed the federal lawsuit against:
- The City of Ocala
- Ocala Police Department Chief Greg Graham
- Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn
- City Council members, and others
She alleges that all of these parties contributed to or allowed the creation of the hostile work environment, discrimination, and retaliation when she filed complaints.
What the Plaintiff Claims
Casey Walsh was an eight-year veteran of the Ocala Police Department before her sheriff’s deputy status was suddenly rescinded in January 2017. On multiple occasions over the course of her time as an officer, Walsh claims she was subjected to inappropriate comments and requests of a sexual nature by Chief Graham. She alleges these comments and requests occurred at work, at an awards ceremony, at K-9 training, and on a trip to Washington, D.C. for the National Law Enforcement Memorial.
Walsh also claims that the city and council members failed to prevent further acts of discrimination after she related the unwelcome, offensive, and illegal behavior to them and that they showed a “reckless and callous indifference” to the alleged acts. Furthermore, they reinstated Graham as Chief of Police after the conclusion of an investigation that was approved by the mayor.
The Status of the Federal Lawsuit
A formal grievance was filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the city in September 2016. In May 2018, the commission notified the defendants that there was not enough information to establish a violation of the statutes. But it’s not over. With the filing of the federal lawsuit against the city, the mayor, the chief of police, and the city council and others, Walsh is asking the court to grant a judgement to her — awarding her back pay and benefits that she would have received if it were not for the alleged harassment by the chief of police.
Casey Walsh is not the only one that has alleged discrimination against Graham and the Ocala Police Department. In fact, she is one of three former officers —but is the only one who has filed a federal lawsuit.
EMPLOYEE RIGHTS LAWYERS FIGHT BACK
The behavior that Walsh (and others) claims is not uncommon. Fortunately, employee rights lawyers are available to fight the tough fight and help those dealing with similar circumstances. Discrimination and sexual harassment are wrong and should never be tolerated. If you, a friend or family member, or a co-worker has been subjected to discrimination in the workplace, know you are not alone, and there are experienced dedicated lawyers that work hard each day to fight back and seek justice.
Contact Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. today for a free confidential consultation.
Other workplace discrimination articles:
Former Wegmans Employee Fired Over FMLA
6 Florida Employment Discrimination Laws You Need to Know
How to Prove a Hostile Work Environment in Florida
Darden Restaurants Settles Age Discrimination Lawsuit
3 Things You Need to Prove Your Employment Discrimination Case