Just another day in paradise in Los Angeles… Unless you happen to be an employer. Continuing the recent spate of multi-million dollar verdicts, an LA jury awarded a former police officer $7 million on her sex discrimination claim.
Lili Hadsell, a former police chief for the City of Baldwin Park, alleged that she was subjected to sex discrimination over her 14 years of service. The alleged discrimination came in part from comments by other officers to her subordinates such as “a woman cannot do this [chief of police] job” and comments from members of the department such as “I’m not going to call that woman police chief.” Hadsell also alleged that her Peruvian ethnicity was mocked by officers. When Hadsell was fired (allegedly without cause), she received a text from the mayor that said, “It was retaliation no doubt!!”
The jury found for Hadsell, returning a verdict against the city for $7 million. As we’ve seen, private employers are regularly subject to huge jury verdicts in Los Angeles. This case shows that not even cities are immune from the unpredictable and extraordinary jury verdicts that come out of Los Angeles County.