On April 8th, 1999, the United States Department of Justice ("D.O.J") filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., against the City of Belen in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico. The DOJ sought injunctive relief and demanded a trial by jury, alleging ...
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On April 8th, 1999, the United States Department of Justice ("D.O.J") filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., against the City of Belen in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico. The DOJ sought injunctive relief and demanded a trial by jury, alleging that the defendant violated Title VII by discriminating against female police officers on the basis of their sex.
The DOJ alleged that the discrimination against women took the form of creating, maintaining, and condoning sexual harassment and a sexually hostile work environment at the Belen Police Department ("BPD"), and failing or refusing to promptly and effectively investigate such claims. Furthermore, the DOJ contends that the defendant specifically discriminated against a female employee by suspending and eventually terminating her employment as a Sergeant because of her sex and because she assisted in bringing sexual harassment complaints of other female employees to the attention of management.
On June 21, 2000, the Court (Judge Paul Kelly Jr.) approved and entered a settlement agreement upon joint motion of the parties. General injunctive relief included a prohibition from discriminating on the basis of sex, retaliating, or failing to take prompt and effective steps to remedy and prevent conduct committed by employees in the BPD that constitutes sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or retaliation. The settlement agreement also detailed more specific forms of relief, such as the issuance and posting of the city's sexual harassment policies, amendment of performance evaluation, and equal employment opportunity training program.
Additionally, the settlement agreement appointed an Equal Employment Opportunity Monitor to evaluate the City's effectiveness in preventing sex discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, and assist in investigating and filing all complaints.
On April 7, 2004, the court dissolved the settlement agreement. This case does not appear to be ongoing.Jennifer Hau - 10/21/2007