Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Friday, May 14, 2004

Unusual Twists - But Still A $1.3 Million Verdict for San Diego Detective


The headline from The San Diego Tribune site gives the outcome, $1.3 million awarded in bias case, but the story itself is even more interesting. The basic claim of the undercover detective Felipe Arroyo was that he was given more work because of his ability to speak Spanish. He converted that to a discrimination claim based on national origin. When he filed a formal complaint, two weeks after a failed mediation, he was reassigned closer to home, which he said was retaliatory because it made his undercover work more dangerous. After three hours of deliberations, the jury agreed with his position, awarding $425,000 on his discrimination claim and more than doubling that amount with a $900,000 award for retaliation. The San Diego Police Department's position was that he was a cop and being a cop is a dangerous business. Obviously, not an argument that sat well with this jury.

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