If approved by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, a consent decree would resolve the department’s complaint alleging sex discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.
The complaint, filed along with a proposed consent decree, alleged that Millbrook Police discriminated against Kristen Spraggins, a female officer of the department. She is claimed to have been subjected to harassment and disparate treatment based on her sex and was terminated in retaliation for her opposition to the discrimination.
The city of Millbrook must pay Spraggins an unspecified amount in compensatory damages.
Spraggins began employment with Millbrook as the only female patrol officer in January of 2008.
According to her complaint, she received excellent performance evaluations from her superiors at the department until she rejected unwanted sexual advances by a co-worker and reported these instances to her superiors.
The complaint alleges that Millbrook PD violated Title VII by failing to take effective disciplinary action against the co-worker who harassed her, a male sergeant, and instead subjecting Spraggins to undeserved punishment.
The complaint further alleged that the department terminated Spraggins from employment in retaliation for her pursing internal complaints about the sexual harassment and because she filed a charge of sex discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Under the terms of the consent decree, the department must pay Spraggins the compensatory damages as well as the department being required to provide injunctive relief in revising and enforcing its policies that prohibit sex discrimination and retaliation, and to train its officers and other employees on the prevention of sex discrimination and retaliation.
The Justice Department is committed to this vigorous enforcement and believe that this lawsuit will send a clear message to the police department to take necessary action to eliminate and remedy the effects of unwarranted harassment in the workplace.