One’s workplace should be a safe place. It should not be a place where certain aspects of one’s personal life affect how one is treated. Unfortunately, discrimination in the workplace is a very real problem in California and elsewhere. A recent case in another state shows just how seriously this issue is taken.

According to reports, on Friday, Oct. 25, after a week-long trial, the jury hearing an employment discrimination and retaliation case awarded the plaintiff nearly $20 million. This case all started back in 2014 when, after over five years of trying to achieve a promotion, a police officer was told that his sexuality was an issue and the reason behind his inability to achieve lieutenant status. Two years later, this officer filed a discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. One month after doing so, he was moved to another station further away from his home and assigned the night shift. This caused him to file a retaliation claim as well.

His police chief at the time denies any wrongdoing. The police department has declined to comment on the matter. The city is now looking at replacing upper officials in the police force because of this.

Discrimination, whether it concerns one’s sexuality, age, religion, gender or any of the other protected classes, is not okay, and it is not something that one has to put up with. California residents who find themselves victims of discrimination in the workplace can do something about it. It starts with filing claims with the EEOC; then, if appropriate, civil claims may follow. With the assistance of legal counsel, maximum compensation may be achieved, and those responsible for the wrongful conduct can be held accountable.