LAPD Employees allege Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

California – A sexual harassment lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of four Los Angeles police dog handlers, Karolin Clarke, David Dooros, Ricardo Sanchez, and Elliot Zibli, who alleged sexual harassment and workplace retaliation. Presently, the four dog handlers are requesting unspecified damages.

In 2015, the officers became dog handlers to bloodhounds. The officers worked in the gang and narcotics division. This particular division required their services often, which caused the officers to work a great deal of overtime. In May 2015, Sgt. Joe Danny Garcia received authority over the four dog handlers’ particular unit.

Shortly after Sgt. Garcia accepted his leadership position over the unit, Clarke said she began to endure sexual harassment by Sgt. Garcia. The sexual harassment included unpleasant remarks. Clarke also reported that she would often find Sgt. Garcia gazing at her and appearing at her more than a few of her duty calls.

The majority of the sexual harassment occurred while Clarke was alone. On one occasion, Sanchez and Zibli were present. Clarke said she rejected Sgt. Garcia’s sexual advances but he continued to harass her. She also made complaints regarding his presence at nearly all her duty calls. Clarke warned him that her colleagues were in a position to testify on her behalf if she files an official sexual harassment complaint with the Los Angeles Police Department.

In addition to the fear of Sanchez and Zibli testimonies, the sexual harassment lawsuit alleged that Sgt. Garcia expressed concerns that Dooros would testify against him as well due to the reluctant responses he received from Dooros in regards to inappropriate comments about Clarke.

Sexual harassment was only half of the plaintiffs’ work-related issue. The other half applies to report overtime. The plaintiffs expressed that Sgt. Garcia attempted to convince and pressure them into recording false overtime slips. According to the lawsuit, Sgt. Garcia was already engaging in the unethical activity. He just wanted them to join him.

Instead of uniting with Sgt. Garcia and becoming a part of what they considered “theft” from the city, the dog handlers reported his misconduct to a lieutenant. The plaintiffs also explained that Sgt. Garcia ordered them to stay at the locations where the incidents they were responding took place until he arrived even though the incidents had been cleared. The dog handlers said they were instructed to bill the department for the additional time.

The dog handlers began to experience workplace retaliation from Sgt. Garcia. The lawsuit says Sgt. Garcia was irate after Clarke rejected him. He allegedly refrained from responding to calls from other “department divisions and units” that requested assistance from the dog handlers. The LAPD dog handlers began to lose thousands of dollars in overtime as a form of retaliation.

Sgt. Garcia also called the plaintiffs “miscreants,” and attempted to discourage individuals from working with Clarke out of fear that she would report them for sexual harassment. Although the four LAPD dog handlers complained about the working conditions, no one extended the help they needed and deserved. In predicaments as such, the best option is to seek a sexual harassment lawyer for legal assistance with your work related issue.
The sexual harassment lawsuit is still pending, and the plaintiffs are still enduring retaliation. Dooros didn’t receive a new bloodhound to replace his current one of 11years who needs to retire due to age. Zibli was rejected to receive additional workplace training. Dooros has decided to enter an early retirement considering the work conditions are unbearable.

A representative from the city has not reviewed the lawsuit, or responded with comments. As the litigation proceeds, the four plaintiffs are waiting for justice.

Sexual Harassment Lawyers

No one should have to experience sexual harassment or retaliation at work. Engaging in one or both are wrong and illegal. If you have ever experienced sexual harassment and/or retaliation at work in New York City, Miami, New Jersey, or Philadelphia, contact a sexual harassment lawyer at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC. Our sexual harassment lawyers look forward to helping you understand your rights and delivering top-rated legal representation.

If you feel you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment or if your employment rights have been violated, then you should contact us at 800-807-2209 to schedule a free consultation.