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Jury agrees BPD discriminated against and harassed a woman detective; awards her $2 million

A federal jury yesterday awarded Donna Gavin, a lieutenant in the Boston Police Department, $2 million in lost wages and damages after agreeing that not only did her superior discriminate against her because of her gender, he retaliated against her after she filed a complaint with the state.

Gavin, also a detective, who led the BPD human trafficking unit for almost a decade, had charged that Capt. Mark Hayes created a hostile work environment and actively worked to block her from becoming part of the BPD command staff, especially after she complained to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Following a trial in US District Court in Boston, a jury yesterday answered "yes" to six questions posed by the judge, on whether Gavin proved "by a preponderance of the evidence" that both the city and Hayes discriminated against her, forced her to work in a hostile environment and retaliated against her for filing a complaint.

The jury then set dollar amounts for each of the specific violations, including $1 million for emotional distress and damage to her reputation and $940,000 in cumulative lost wages because she was blocked from advancing in the ranks. The remainder was for $60,000 in lost overtime, sick leave and vacation the jury agreed she had lost.

The city has yet to file an appeal.

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AttachmentSize
PDF icon Gavin's complete complaint74.93 KB
PDF icon The jury's verdict762.19 KB

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Comments

Good

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Voting closed 4

So does cop who discriminated against her get fired? It looks like this bigot is still on the force.

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Voting closed 3

If you get rid of the bad apples, you have to acknowledge that it isn't the bad apples that are the problem, it’s the whole rotten, unjust, unaccountable institution.

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Voting closed 3

You'd think anyone who costs his employer $2 million would be gone by the next day, but it's important to remember that the police are almost completely free of civilian control and oversight, and pretty much completely immune to consequences.

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Voting closed 7

You would think! If they are being charged criminally, at some point the City will get tired of the civil claims.

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Voting closed 4

Although, I’m not in law enforcement. I’ve worked with Donna in a professional capacity and she’s a great officer. Good for her for standing up for herself in an environment that encourages officers to remain silent.

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Voting closed 5