Recently, an Oklahoma judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by a Bartlesville Police Department sergeant. In the lawsuit, the sergeant claimed that she was the victim of gender discrimination, a hostile work environment, and retaliation.
In the recent ruling, Chief District Judge Gregory Frizzell found that, although Sgt. Elizabeth J. Mitchell was eligible to be promoted to lieutenant, she never achieved a top score during the examination process. In the opinion, judge Frizzell wrote that the test was "a legitimate non-discriminatory reason for the lack of promotion."
Mitchell alleged that she was also retaliated against when she was moved to the night shift, however this transfer was not implemented until seven months after she filed her complaint with the EEOC. Judge Frizzell found that Mitchell put fourth no admissible evidence that would tend to support her allegations of a hostile work environment. Similarly, Judge Frizzell found that there were no adverse employment actions taken towards Mitchell.
Mitchell plans to appeal the decision. Of the decision, her lawyer stated, "A subjective promotion process in which a female with 18 years of law enforcement experience, numerous commendations, and a master's degree cannot be promoted past the rank of sergeant, while male employees with less education and less experience receive lieutenant stripes every time there is an opening, is wrong."