Judge dismisses ex-Lincoln officer’s discrimination lawsuit
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A judge has dismissed the discrimination lawsuit of a former Lincoln Police Department spokeswoman, saying her allegations did not sufficiently prove a hostile work environment.
Erin Spilker said in her lawsuit that she faced years of discrimination and that the department not only mishandled allegations of sexual assaults by male officers, but disciplined the women who complained.
“She is under a microscope, and has been subjected to assaults, harassment, intimidation, threats and retaliation, which affect her ability to do her job,” Spilker’s attorney, Kelly Brandon said, in the complaint.
In his order issued Monday, District Judge Kevin McManaman acknowledged Spilker’s string of allegations — from male colleagues making sexualized remarks about female colleagues to suffering various acts of retaliation after she complained, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. But McManaman said, citing case law, that the allegations amounted to “an amalgamation of discrete incidents ... and not one unlawful employment practice.”
The allegations “are not so similar in nature, frequency and severity as to be considered part and parcel of a hostile work environment,” McManaman wrote.
Spilker, who was a 20-year veteran of the department before she resigned earlier this year, is among several female Lincoln police officers who have sued, alleging sex-based discrimination in the department.
One, former Officer Sarah Williams, was paid $65,000 by the city to settle her lawsuit last year.