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Sunday, August 28, 2011

CMPD Attorney Warns Police Chiefs Not to Retaliate

Curt Walton, Charlotte’s City Manager just won’t answer any questions regarding hiring, retention, or promotion practices of Rodney Monroe at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.  Our Human Resources Representative Cheryl L. Brown decided she didn’t want to, either.  Council and the Mayor determined they could sit this one out as well.  (read full post here)

There were some vague references to CMPD Directives for a couple of positions, and a full vote of confidence in Rodney Monroe, no matter what questions were brought up.   Good news, though:  the CMPD’s very own lead attorney may be a valuable resource for advice on how things are supposed to happen with treatment of employees.

Attorney Mark Newbold heads the CMPD Attorneys Office. He wrote a paper for “The Police Chief:  The Professional Voice of Law Enforcement” about retaliation in the workplace against employees who have been forced to file complaints against employers.

In the 2007 paper, Newbold refers to a Supreme Court opinion about an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint.  He explains that actions taken by the employer against either the employee who filed a complaint or any employee who may have helped them file it, if they cause harm that would “'dissuade a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of discrimination,' then the behaviors described above may now be admissible as evidence to support a retaliation claim filed by the plaintiff under Title VII.”

He goes on to say "what to watch out for" after an EEOC claim has been filed, but it seems like good advice of what to avoid before a claim is filed  (see full article link below for full list):

The employee is suddenly subjected to intense scrutiny.

The employee is transferred to a position that is lower in status without an objective need to do so.

The employee’s shift hours are changed for no apparent reason.

The employee is denied opportunities available to other workers such as training or other company perks. These perks might include schedule adjustment to accommodate child care or to attend educational classes.

An immediate supervisor is building a case against a subordinate rather than correcting poor performance.

Citynewswatch would like to add denial of accepting complaints to the list, leaving employees to feel vulnerable and damaged.  The problem is that problems are known and being ignored.  They range from personnel who did not meet the criteria stated in the CMPD Directives and/or were promoted ahead of more qualified personnel with no justification or positions created and paid for which are not in any way identified in CMPD Directives, such as RAC’s and Executive Officers.  Is that a convenient way to make an end-run around following rules or answering for them?  Requests for details of position postings and process review have been denied.

Mr. Newbold was correct in stating the following in his paper in the notes:

“Plainly effective enforcement could thus only be expected if employees felt free to approach officials with their grievances.”

Read Mr. Newbold’s full article here 

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