WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced it would intervene in a private lawsuit alleging race discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by Pocomoke City, Maryland, the Worcester County sheriff and the state of Maryland.
“Federal law protects against discrimination and retaliation in the workplace,” said principal deputy assistant attorney general Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
“In police departments, that protection is vital not only for individual officials but also for the communities they serve. The Justice Department is firmly committed to ensuring that our nation’s state and local law enforcement agencies comply with Title VII’s promise of a workplace free from racial discrimination and retaliation.”
The case involves alleged discrimination by the defendants against former Pocomoke City police officer Franklin Savage. Savage was purportedly subjected to a racially hostile work environment while on a joint task force operated by the sheriff’s office.
“No one should have to face harassment and retaliation while at work,” said EEOC Chairwoman Jenny R. Yang. “When public employees face discrimination, it undermines the trust and credibility in our public institutions. This case represents the latest partnership between EEOC and the Department of Justice to advance our shared Title VII enforcement responsibilities.”