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Sexual Harassment

By Rachel Kane | August 25, 2007
BURBANK — A set of seminars on cross-cultural awareness for John Burroughs High School athletics staffers seeks to enhance the sensitive side of the school’s coaches. Darryl Kincy, a motivational speaker, made a presentation to all of the high school’s athletics staff Tuesday and spoke with them about ethnic and cultural sensitivity and taboos. The first of two seminars was part of ordinary staff development, and not in response to ethnic and cultural clashes at the school, said Jan Britz, assistant superintendent of instructional services.
October 31, 2001
Joyce Rudolph 'Oleanna' in rehearsal at Little Victory Theatre BURBANK -- David Mamet's "Oleanna" opens Thursday at The Little Victory Theatre in Burbank. Maria Gobetti is director/producer for the play about a college professor accused of sexual harassment by his student. It explores themes of political correctness, power, censorship and abuse. The script is edgy and witty and somewhat risky, Gobetti said. It is very verbal, as everyone who is familiar with Mamet, knows.
December 6, 2003
Jackson Bell A jury awarded a longtime city employee more than $1.5 million late Thursday, finding that she was subjected to disability discrimination, attorneys said. Deborah McMurray was awarded $1,501,567 in damages and an additional $33,000 for the city's failure to meet reasonable accommodations for her disability, said Stephen Love, one of her attorneys. "This is a situation where Mrs. McMurray was a valuable employee who had consistently received outstanding reviews and thinks she was discriminated against on the basis of her disability," Love said.
November 29, 2003
Jackson Bell A jury will consider the merits of a wrongful-termination lawsuit filed by a Burbank city employee after attorneys on both sides delivered closing arguments this week. Deborah McMurray, 57, a revenue clerk in the city's Park, Recreation and Community Services Department, sued the city in March 2001, alleging age and gender discrimination. According to her attorney, Brad Gage, McMurray was subjected to a hostile work environment when she complained about the treatment.
By Maria Hsin, | March 13, 2012
Defending the city against claims that former Burbank Deputy Chief of Police William Taylor was terminated after facing on-the-job retaliation from the department, attorneys this week called into question the reason for his lawsuit. Taylor alleges he was demoted, and then fired, for pushing for proper discipline in a sexual harassment incident and because he blocked the firing of minority police officers. But defense attorneys said in Los Angeles County Superior court that it wasn't until Taylor received notice to appear for an interview by an outside investigator concerning the robbery at a local bakery that he filed his lawsuit against the city.
By Christopher Cadelago | May 29, 2009
CITY CENTER — One lieutenant and four Burbank police officers filed a lawsuit against the department Thursday, alleging that they were subjected to routine racial discrimination and sexual harassment, and then faced retaliation from the command staff when they complained. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Lt. Omar Rodriguez and police officers Cindy Guillen-Gomez, Steve Karagiosian, Elfego Rodriguez and Jamal Childs. According to the complaint, the officers “were subjected to discrimination and discriminatory policies, practices and procedures based upon race, ancestry, national origin, sex/gender, marital status, and pregnancy, among other things.
By Alene Tchekmedyian, | February 26, 2013
The cost incurred by the city as it continues to defend itself against a slew of lawsuits filed by former and current police officers has hit $7.1 million and counting, officials announced recently. And most of the cases - which center on claims of racial discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination - remain ongoing. The largest chunk of the cost, roughly $4 million, was spent defending a multi-plaintiff lawsuit in which three Latino officers, a black officer and an Armenian officer claimed racism and sexual harassment in a lawsuit filed in May 2009.
By Maria Hsin, | March 23, 2012
Testimony in another trial pitting a police officer against the city began this week in Los Angeles County Superior Court, this time centering on claims that an Armenian American detective endured ethnic slurs and other forms of harassment. Burbank Police Det. Steve Karagiosian's attorney, Solomon Gresen, said in his opening statement Thursday that evidence would show ethnic slurs against his client were made and corroborated by other officers. Gresen said his client was “no ordinary officer.” “From the time he passed probationary status, he received outstanding performance evaluations,” Gresen said, noting that Karagiosian was named Officer of the Year in 2007.
By Christopher Cadelago | October 17, 2009
DOWNTOWN — Against the backdrop of an FBI probe into police misconduct and a number of lawsuits claiming internal harassment, the Burbank Police Commission on Wednesday called on city officials to expand its oversight role. Commissioners, citing repeated charges from the public that they are aloof and unproductive, called on the City Council to better define their role, and explore options to increase the scope of their power. As sexual harassment and racial discrimination lawsuits began piling up against the Police Department two months ago, the City Council voted to authorize a more frequent meeting schedule for the commission.
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