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Jury says former Calif. policewoman faced gender discrimination

A California woman who sued the Los Angeles Airport Police Department for gender discrimination was awarded compensatory damages by a jury last week. The jury agreed with the woman's claims that she was passed over for a promotion at LAX because she was a woman. The woman was a lieutenant for 10 years. Her attorney said that she had the qualifications to be promoted to captain but was not promoted because she was a woman.

The woman worked for LAX since 1980. She retired last year after her attorney says she could not take the gender discrimination in the department any longer. Her attorney says that since the woman is petite, she was overlooked as someone who could be a police captain, even though she was qualified and had been qualified for several years.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the woman said that she filed the lawsuit because she felt she needed to take a stand for other women still serving in the LAX Police Department and in departments around the state. The woman also claimed retaliation and harassment in her lawsuit, but the jury did not agreed with those claims.

Gender discrimination is against the law. Employers are prohibited against discriminating against an employee because of their sex or gender under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as for religion, race or national origin. It is also illegal under California law to discriminate for reasons of gender or based on gender identity.

Source: L.A. NOW, "Former LAX policewoman awarded nearly $1 million for gender discrimination," July 28, 2011