Oregon Police sergeant Liani Reyna fought discrimination throughout the department and in her career, and has been so honored, the Oregonian reports. Reyna won the “WE Persist” award from the city. “WE” stands for women’s empowerment.
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries also stated that Reyna faced a hostile work environment when she reported harassment in the form of hazing that could constitute discrimination in 1999. She had been the only female member of the Special Emergency Reaction Team when she joined. Eventually 20 former or current members of the team faced discipline in 2002 for incidents related to the hazing, some of which was related to sexuality and gender.
Reyna said that she was fortunate to find fellow officers who were supportive of her career, and of her decision to be a whistleblower in regard to these incidents. She does believe that she faced retaliation based on her decision to speak up and a possible loss of advancement as a result. Every employee potentially faces a choice to speak up about similar instances, whether for themselves, or fellow colleagues.
If you or someone you know is a witness or a recipient of employment discrimination, the first choice you must make is when and how to speak about what you know. Any retaliation that you face could be addressed in a civil lawsuit. You’ll likely find–as others have–that you must speak up about such abuses because it is the right thing to do. The second choice is to find a legal advocate who understands the stakes and knows the sacrifices that you have made in coming forward. Moreover, such a person needs to be able to win in a civil case. You need a Portland employment discrimination attorney with the experience to get the job done. Ed Kroll and Justin Johnson are those attorneys.
If you have seen or experienced this kind of discrimination, it’s not a fight you would have wanted, but Kroll and Johnson can help make sure it’s a fight you’ll win. Contact them today for a free consultation.