Magazine article HRMagazine

Black Police Sergeant Denied Transfer May Pursue Claim

Magazine article HRMagazine

Black Police Sergeant Denied Transfer May Pursue Claim

Article excerpt

Lavalais v. Village of Melrose Park, 7th Cir., No. 13-1200

An employee was allowed to proceed with his discrimination claim that his employer denied his request for a transfer from the midnight shift based on his race, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.

Kyll Lavalais, a veteran police officer with more than 20 years of service for the Village of Melrose Park, Ill., is the only black officer in its police depart- ment. In February 2011, Lavalais was promoted to sergeant and placed on the midnight shift. Fourteen months later, he requested a change of assignment, expressing an interest in any supervisory role that did not require work during the midnight shift. His request was denied.

Lavalais filed a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Com- mission alleging that the village treated similarly situated nonblack police officers more favorably when it came to policies and reassignments and that he had been placed on the midnight shift indefinitely because of his race. Lavalais subsequently sued the village under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, alleging race discrimination. …

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