Former Montebello detective sues metropolis, alleging gender discrimination in vaccine exemptions


A former Montebello police detective has sued the town, saying she was subjected to “pervasive gender discrimination” that included uneven enforcement of a coronavirus vaccine mandate.

Maria Chavez alleges within the lawsuit that her male colleagues’ functions for non secular exemptions to the vaccine mandate had been largely “rubber stamped,” whereas her utility was “denied because of her gender.”

Chavez was positioned on administrative go away in December 2021 for failing to adjust to the mandate and was fired in January, based on the lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courtroom on Wednesday and likewise names a number of metropolis workers as defendants.

The lawsuit characterizes the denial of Chavez’s non secular exemption and her subsequent firing as a part of a broader sample of gender discrimination.

Chavez alleges that the town and the police division merely “used the vaccine mandate to terminate one of many few feminine detectives within the division, and notably the one who complained in regards to the division’s hostility in the direction of feminine officers.”

Michael Chee, a metropolis spokesperson, mentioned metropolis officers haven’t had an opportunity to assessment the lawsuit and don’t usually touch upon litigation.

Metropolis Supervisor René Bobadilla and Human Sources Director Nicholas Razo, who’re listed as defendants, didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

Chavez submitted a written utility for a vaccine exemption in fall 2021, citing “Scripture and her honest non secular beliefs.” In a brief interview with Razo, he informed her that he was there “to gather the paperwork” and that “every little thing regarded good,” based on the lawsuit.

The lawsuit doesn’t specify Chavez’s faith, and her attorneys didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

A number of weeks later, Chavez acquired a letter denying her exemption request and stating that she did not determine a particular non secular doctrine that will forestall her from receiving the vaccine, based on the lawsuit. However Chavez alleges that Razo by no means requested about her non secular beliefs throughout the interview, nor did he search any clarifying data.

Chavez “was handled in another way all through the vaccine mandate course of” due to her gender, the lawsuit says, additional alleging that exemptions had been granted to male colleagues who had been “shut private associates” of Razo.

The lawsuit contends that hostility towards girls “permeated” the police division, citing “offensive language getting used to explain girls” that included a crude time period for feminine genitalia, “offensive literature” posted on division property and Chavez being denied a promotion “in favor of lesser certified male officers.”

A division memo posted on an workplace wall implied that workers who file complaints accomplish that as a result of they’ve “woman-like hormones” and urged that Midol, a drug used to alleviate interval signs, may very well be offered to workers affected by “harm emotions,” based on the lawsuit.

Chavez’s lawsuit additionally asserts that she “had private information that different feminine officers had been each sexually assaulted and sexually harassed” and that she complained to Razo, the human assets director, about “these harassing occasions” and different examples of gender discrimination.

No motion was taken after she complained, based on the lawsuit.



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