Actions at diva’s death scene lead to California retaliation case

Frank S. Clowney III

Every profession requires adherence to established guidelines to ensure that a job is done properly. True professionals expect nothing less from themselves and those with whom they work. If an employee sees a co-worker grossly violate an established procedure, it’s his or her duty to report the incident to a superior. All workers should feel confident that they will be supported if they have to report an in-house malfeasance.

Sadly, sometimes an employee might face employer retaliation for calling attention to an alleged workplace violation. Such might be the case for a sergeant on the Beverly Hills Police Department whose employment law case has ties to one of the world’s greatest singers.

The law enforcement officer is suing the city of Beverly Hills. He claims that he was on the receiving end of harassment and denial of promotion. The officer believes he has been unfairly treated after a whistleblowing incident involving a detective sergeant.

In 2012, the plaintiff took part in the investigation of the death of the well-known singer, Whitney Houston. He claims he witnessed the detective sergeant act unprofessionally by lifting the sheet used to cloak the deceased singer and making inappropriate remarks about Houston.

The plaintiff states that subsequent to his reporting of the incident he was removed from supervisory positions and denied opportunities for promotion. Through his employment lawsuit he seeks reinstatement to positions he held prior to the alleged retaliation.

Speaking for the police department, a police Lieutenant counters the charges, saying they have no merit.

As this California retaliation case suggests, workers in all fields, even a field meant to better the community, can become victims of employee discrimination. Workers are federally protected against retaliation for whistleblowing. An employee who feels he or she is being punished for trying to uphold what is ethically and professionally required should work with an employment discrimination attorney immediately.

Source: CBS LA, “Beverly Hills Cop Sues Over Retaliation For Reporting Detective Who Allegedly Disturbed Scene Of Whitney Houston’s Body,” March 10, 2014