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Officer's rights complaint settled

Dec 07 2011

Oak Bay police has settled with one of two officers who filed a human rights complaint against the department.

The department reached a deal with Const. Jennifer Gibbs, who alleged she was the victim of sexual discrimination.

Gibbs complained that a male officer with less experience was selected as acting sergeant instead of her. She also raised concerns about demeaning language in her performance evaluation, including a comment that "she should keep her mouth shut," which, she said, would not be made about a male officer.

Three female officers are on the force.

Because Gibbs and the department signed a confidentiality agreement, details of the settlement cannot be disclosed.

Both parties released a joint statement, which said: "The complaint required and has received serious treatment. All parties engaged in this difficult process in good faith, including meeting with a neutral third party."

The statement asked Oak Bay police officers "to treat this matter as a development opportunity and to move forward in a respectful, courteous and professional manner."

The settlement means the dispute will not have to be adjudicated by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. The independent, quasijudicial body has the power to hold a hearing to resolve a complaint.

Const. Davinder Dalep, an Indo-Canadian officer, has also filed a complaint with the tribunal, alleging racial discrimination.

Dalep, a 14-year veteran of the force, said he was passed over for promotions because of his race and said under-qualified officers were promoted to senior ranks.

Police Chief Mark Fisher said that complaint has not been settled and the department is waiting to hear from Dalep's legal representative.


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