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Michael van der Veen provides legal commentary for KYW 1060 AM Philadelphia News Radio

April 07, 2022

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

The two women whose lawsuit has resulted in the resignation of Philadelphia’s police commissioner have reached an agreement on one aspect of the case.

WHYY’s Tom MacDonald reports.

Attorneys for the city and the two women have agreed there will be no retribution on the job as the lawsuit progresses. That means superiors cannot move them to undesirable shifts or subject them to anything they would not require of other officers.

The women say their complaints of being physically and verbally harassed by supervisors and colleagues were ignored by department brass, including former Commissioner Richard Ross

Attorney Michael van der Veen says if the city now does anything to the two women they could face civil penalties.

“They could have all kinds of sanctions from monetary to injunctive relief as to what shifts could or could not be worked, or
what job functions are actually performed.”

The agreement puts them in a secure place as the lawsuit travels through the system, which could take months or even years if a settlement is not reached which is common in these type of cases. In 2017 the city paid over a million dollars to another person who claimed harassment.

Tom MacDonald WHYY news.


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