Officer who needed to “tone down his gayness” gets 19 million dollar compensation

An American police officer who had been told to “tone down his gayness” in order be promoted, has been awarded 19 million dollar (17 million euros). The officer did not get promoted while he was working at the police department since 1994.
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Keith Wildhaber sued his employer in 2017, after he already filed a complaint at the Missouri Commission on Human Rights in 2016. He claims many of his peers got promoted, while he had the third best score in promotion tests.  The officer claims that he didn’t live up to the stereotypical norms of what a 'male' should be. He even had been told to “tone down his gayness” in order to get a promotion. A month after his first complaint, he was put on night shifts in a different area.

The frontman of the jury told local newspaper St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “We wanted to send a message: if you discriminate, you are going to pay a big price. You can't defend the indefensible.” His attorneys claim the verdict is “historical”. “His bravery and courage in standing up for what is right should be an inspiration for employees everywhere. Justice was served in this trial,” they told the newspaper.

According to county executive Sam Page, the leadership of the police department will change. He wrote in a Twitter statement: “Our police must be a place where every community member and every officer is respected and treaded with dignity.”  He called it “time for leadership changes”.

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