Transgender Discrimination in a Police Department

Transgender Discrimination in a Police Department

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Voluntary gender classification was rejected by a Connecticut police department in the past 18 months.   A controversial lawsuit is ongoing after a Middletown police officer was fired.  According to the city, her termination was mainly due to her refusal to undergo an evaluation to determine whether she was physically fit to return to duty from sick leave.

However, she has a different take on the matter, attributing her coming out as transgender as the main factor in her discharge.  Discrimination and harassment began shortly after she told fellow Middletown police about her gender transition. Although other female officers have worn wigs and earrings, dormant policies, regarding safety precaution and improper style, were specifically aimed at her after she revealed her new gender identity. Fellow police officers made several comments about her sexuality, but just one officer was suspended.  On top of that, she faced new scrutiny over her work performance– the city  denied insurance coverage for gender-reassignment surgery, and the police department allowed her police certification to expire.

After allegations arose, the city started its own investigation, but rejected her discrimination claims after failing to look into many of her assertions.  She filed a discrimination complaint with the state Commission of Human Rights and Opportunities.

Posted November 25, 2014