A female police officer who was terminated in April of 2014 has accepted a $1.2 million settlement offer by the City of Passaic, New Jersey. The offer came during the third week of Odalys Rastatter’s civil trial in Superior Court in Paterson in which she charged sexual discrimination and retaliatory behavior lawsuit by the acting police chief to whom she reported.
Rastatter claimed that then-acting chief Richard Diaz had been acting against her for years in retaliation for having his sexual advanced turned down when they were patrol officers together over 20 years earlier. She also claimed that her firing in 2014 was a result of an investigation that Diaz had instigated against her following her having stayed home during a storm to care for her sick daughter. Rastatter has a separate appeal of that firing, separate from the sexual discrimination case, and that appeal will continue.
Testimony given during the sexual discrimination and retaliation trial indicated that Diaz had threatened Rastatter at least twice during the last 17 years. She also claimed that he restricted the assignments that she was permitted to participate in and had made numerous negative and diminishing remarks about women’s abilities to fulfill their responsibilities as police officers.
The case was entering its third week when the city representative announced the agreement that had been reached. The $1.2 million award, which still has to be approved by the Passaic City Council, will not be taxable, and will be provided as compensation for her emotional damages. In exchange, she will waive further claims against the two supervising officers.
Rastatter will continue to pursue reinstatement in her old job, as well as back pay.
Despite the apparent progress that has been made in workplace equality, women are still frequently subjected to unwanted advances, offensive comments, and retaliation from coworkers and supervisors. The state of New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination gives employees who are subjected to discrimination with legal remedies to these violations of their rights to equal treatment. For information about how our law firm can help you get the justice you deserve, contact us today.