The Los Angeles City Council agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle a sexual harassment case involving two lesbian police officers in Van Nuys who were targeted by their supervisor, Sgt. Randy Hoffmaster, with vulgar sexual comments and propositions.
Plaintiff’s claimed they reported the harassment to “more senior officials” who ignored their complaints. They then filed their lawsuit, which apprently did spur an investigation resulting in Sgt. Hoffmaster’s resignation.
The lesson here for employers is to not ignore complaints of sexual harassment and to investigate immediately.
The City of Los Angeles could have saved almost $2 million in settlement and attorney’s fees and expenses had LAPD followed their own policies, such as Sections 280 (sexual harassment) and 285 (sexual orientation discrimination) of the LAPD Manual.