Civil Rights violations and Labor Issue against Houston Police Officers

The Houston Police Department’s Pattern and Practice of violating Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964, retaliating against officers who report discrimination or participate in investigations, related to their and/ or third party EEOC discrimination complaints.

Officers are forced to choose between their jobs and their civil rights

Officers are presented with “Last Chance” Compromise Waiver Agreement based on false discipline charges and baseless criminal investigations, to intimidate and coerce officers, to accept deals that require officers to drop any and all complaints they may have with EEOC, or drop pending discrimination/retaliation lawsuits, in order to save their jobs, thus stripping officers of their rights to seek relief for discrimination or to file a charge with the EEOC.

The waiver agreements states officers will waive their rights to file lawsuits alleging a State or Federal cause of action, or in any other manner arising out of, or related to the IAD investigation.

Officers who agree to the terms of the “Last-Chance” Compromise Waiver Agreement are not terminated, while officers who refused to be bound by the terms in the “Last Change” Compromise Waivers Agreements are terminated

The Houston Police Department Pattern and Practice retaliating against officers who report discrimination or participate in investigations, related to their and/ or third party EEOC discrimination complaints is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,  states it unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee who opposes an employment practice made unlawful by Title VII makes it unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee who opposes an employment practice made unlawful by Title VII. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e–3(a).  To establish a prima facie case of retaliation, a plaintiff must provide evidence that: (1) he engagedin an activity protected by Title VII; (2) the employer took an adverse employment action against the plaintiff; and (3) a causal connection exists between the protected activity and the adverse employment action. 

 The court defined protected activity as “opposition to any practice rendered unlawful by Title VII, including making a charge, testifying, assisting, or participating in any investigation, proceedings, or hearing under Title VII. Furthermore Title VII anti-discrimination statutes do not limit or condition in any way the protection against retaliation for participating in the charge process. While the opposition clause applies only to those who protest practices that they reasonably and in good faith believe are unlawful, the participation clause applies to all individuals who participate in the statutory complaint process.  Thus, courts have consistently held that a respondent is liable for retaliating against an individual for filing an EEOC charge regardless of the validity or reasonableness of the charge

The Houston Police Department use of “Last Chance” Compromise Waiver Agreements requiring officers to relinquish their Civil Rights is unlawful retaliation

On May 23, 2012, EEOC won a retaliation case involving “Last Chance” Compromise Waiver Agreements. In that case, EEOC v. Cognis Corp., Judge Michael P. McCuskey of U.S. District Court for the Central  District of Illinois ruled that Cognis Corporation, a German-based part of multinational chemical company BASF, unlawfully retaliated against an employee for refusing to waive his rights to file a discrimination charge.  

The court ruled that Cognis fired Steven  Whitlow after he revoked his willingness to be bound by a “last-chance”  employment agreement because it would have stripped him of his rights to seek  relief for discrimination or to file a charge with the EEOC.