In late March of final yr, because the pandemic was raging in New York Metropolis, Karen Ramirez, a 39-year-old police officer, started carrying a masks to work on the NYPD’s headquarters. The skilled penalties, she alleges, had been swift.
Police leaders — together with three sergeants and a lieutenant — “made enjoyable of and retaliated towards” her over the well being choice, in line with Ramirez, who’s suing the division in Manhattan Supreme Courtroom.
On the March 25, 2020 roll name, only one week earlier than the federal authorities advisable all Individuals put on masks, Sergeant Carmine Nicastro “began cursing and yelling” at Ramirez concerning the face safety, the swimsuit alleges.
After Ramirez informed supervisors that she was frightened about infecting her aged dad and mom and youngsters, she was moved to the bustling annex of One Police Plaza, the place she believed she was more likely to contract the virus. “You desire a masks that can be your everlasting submit,” one other supervisor, Sergeant Edgar Figueroa, allegedly informed her.
The town has confronted repeated questions concerning the open defiance of state masks guidelines from the NYPD, together with high brass. In October, as public stress on the division mounted, the NYPD introduced that officers who violated masks pointers can be disciplined.
However in line with Ramirez, her supervisors continued to taunt and harass her about carrying the masks, even because the variety of NYPD officers contaminated with the virus continued to rise. Between March and October of final yr, not less than 46 NYPD members died of COVID-19.
John Scola, an legal professional for Ramirez, stated that the masks dispute really stemmed from an incident the earlier yr, wherein his consumer was chastised for taking lactation breaks after coming back from maternity depart. After submitting a criticism with the Workplace of Equal Employment, she was pressured to pump in a janitor’s closet and safety cubicles, and repeatedly had her breast milk taken, the swimsuit alleges.
NYC legislation states that employers should present a “clear and personal area to pump” that’s “shielded from others’ view and free from intrusion by coworkers and members of the general public.”
“They had been screwing along with her as retaliation for her being a lady who bought pregnant and went out on maternity depart,” Scola informed Gothamist.
In an announcement, Sergeant Edward Riley, a spokesperson for the NYPD, stated the division “doesn’t tolerate discrimination in any kind and is dedicated to respectful work environments for our various workforce.”
He declined to touch upon the specifics of the pending litigation.