Antioch’s First Female Police Officer Gets Her Sergeant Stripes
A federal court ordered the Village of Antioch to promote Dawn Geraty to Sergeant five months after she won her sex discrimination lawsuit.
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On May 14, 2014, at an ordinary meeting at the village hall, something extraordinary happened. Dawn got her Sergeant Stripes.
It was amazing to watch Dawn get her Sergeant stripes after eight long years.
The village hall was filled to capacity to watch Chief Craig Sommerville place Sergeant Stripes on Dawn’s uniform. A Sergeant supervises other police officers and is the most important rank a police officer can achieve.
In 1993, Dawn became the first female police officer hired by the Village of Antioch.
Twenty years later, she became the first female police officer in the chain of command and promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
In 2009, Dawn filed a sex discrimination lawsuit alleging the police department refused to make her a Detective or promote her to Sergeant because she is a woman. At the time, the police department had five female police officers, but all of them worked as patrol officers.
The police department promoted all of the male police officers who passed the Sergeant’s Exam except Dawn who had more seniority than all but one of them.
Dawn filed a lawsuit alleging a claim for sex discrimination. In November 2013, after a two-week trial, the jury returned a verdict for Dawn and awarded damages.
Based on the verdict, Dawn asked the Court to award her the Sergeant Stripes she was denied.
The police department opposed the promotion because it would upset the male police officers who had hard feelings after the case. After a hearing where the male police officers testified about why they did not feel Dawn should be promoted, the Court rejected the police department’s arguments and ordered the promotion occur promptly.
On May 14, 2014, while the lawsuit was still pending, the police department finally promoted Dawn to Sergeant.
The case is Dawn Geraty v. the Village of Antioch, Case No. 09 C 6992.
Do you believe you were denied promotions for unlawful reasons? Contact Jeff.