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Another Pennsylvania police department accused of discrimination

We have written a lot this year about police departments in the state that have been accused of discrimination in some form or another. In fact, our last post was also about racial discrimination in a Pennsylvania police department, so it may be shocking for readers to find out that another case from another part of the state has come to light.

This time, the allegations are being made by a sergeant for the Pennsylvania State Police, who says that he was the victim of harassment and discrimination because of his Iranian national origin. As readers of this blog are well aware, it is illegal to discriminate against someone because of their national origin because it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution as well as other federal and state level employment laws.

In this case the officer says that he was mistreated by his colleagues, harassed, and that he was passed over for promotions and other opportunities because of his national origin. He served on the force for 19 years despite the ongoing discrimination, and was once subject to an improper investigation that he believes was motivated by the fact that he is from Iran. The captain who initiated the investigation was never disciplined even though wrongdoing was found, instead he simply retired.

"[The sergeant] emigrated to the United States from Iran when he was 17 years old with a dream of not only becoming a U.S. citizen but of serving and protecting his community," said his attorney to reporters earlier this week. "He has done so with distinction and honor, despite being mistreated by fellow officers."

Given the frequency of complaints about varying types of harassment and discrimination within the police force in different parts of the state, it's hardly surprising that officers and captains in the Pennsylvania State Patrol would treat someone unfairly because of their national origin. However, that doesn't make it acceptable and employees who experience this type of treatment at work should know that they don't have to endure it.

Source: Fox 43, "PA State Police Trooper Claims Racial Discrimination," Nic Moye, Jan. 14, 2013.

Information about retaliation and harassment at work is available on our national origin discrimination page.

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