Lakeland officer wins wrongful discharge suit, returns to duty
A Florida sergeant who was fired from the Lakeland Police Department in 2013 will be reinstated to his job. The man, who was caught up in a sex scandal at work, apparently lost his job after he allegedly had intercourse with a former employee while on the clock. Attorneys in the case argued that the man was subject to wrongful termination — and that the punishment was not appropriate for the man’s alleged violations.
Reports show that the man was reinstated to his job by an arbitration decision. Findings from a previous hearing in April indicate that the man was, indeed, wrongfully fired. The man, a sergeant, was demoted back to his officer position. He will be receiving back pay commensurate with that position starting at the time that he lost his job.
There are some questions about the man’s return to work, however. According to a legal document known as a “Death Letter,” he can no longer testify in court because of the previous proceedings. Police officer duties may involve testifying in court, but representatives from the man’s legal team say that is not the victim’s concern. The fact remains that the man deserves to be reinstated to the force — even in a lower position — and the Lakeland Police Department will have to work out the details.
The man in this case admitted that he had made a mistake by having sexual intercourse with another member of the staff while they were on duty. However, he did not deserve to lose his job. This is just one example of the type of injustice that can be inflicted upon workers in public service and private industry every day. Employees who have suffered wrongful termination may be entitled to financial compensation and reinstatement after their own negative experience.
Source: WFLA News Channel 8, “Lakeland officer fired over sex scandal gets job back” Holly Bounds, Jul. 28, 2014