Former Tupelo police officer sues over her firing

A former Tupelo police officer is suing over her termination claiming it was in retaliation to complaints of sexual harrassment, uncompensated work and ticket quotas.

Posted: Feb. 5, 2018 6:52 PM
Updated: Feb. 5, 2018 7:01 PM
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ABERDEEN, Miss. (WTVA) - A former Tupelo police officer is suing over her termination claiming it was in retaliation to complaints of sexual harrassment, uncompensated work and ticket quotas.
Jennifer Baker says she was terminated in March 2017 and is asking for her job back, lost wages and other damages.
Baker claims she had made a sexual harrassment claim against a person who was later promoted to sergeant.  She says the initial complaint was made verbally in June 2016 and later put in writing.  
Baker also claims she complained about uncompensated overtime and was told in a meeting with the head of patrol and the assistant chief she was a salaried employee and not entitled to the extra pay.
The U. S. Department of Labor also investigated, and the city was ordered to pay nearly $850,000 in overtime to officers in late 2017.
She says in January 2017, officers were reprimanded for not writing enough tickets.
The chief of patrol is also accused of sending an email in February 2017 saying officers were not writing enough tickets.
Baker claims she complied although she had problems with the policy.
She says she was suspended on March 2 and fired five days later for falsely claiming there was a quota, stopping more blacks and writing a ticket on public property.  When she questioned the charges, she claims the chief told her she had also been rude during a traffic stop where a ticket had been given.
Baker's lawsuit says reasons were a pretext to the fact she had filed a complaint of sexual harrassment and uncompensated overtime.
She claims the termination violates whistleblower provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
She claims sexual discrimination because male officers who complained about ticket quotas were not terminated and because of the sexual harrassment claim she filed about an officer who was later promoted.
The lawsuit was filed in U. S. District Court in Aberdeen.

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