WPD lieutenant sues city for gender discrimination and retaliation

WICHITA, Kan. A Wichita Police Lieutenant is suing the city for Title VII and Civil Rights Act violations, specifically, gender discrimination and retaliation.

The female lieutenant says in a federal lawsuit, she applied for a promotion to be a captain with the department around March of this year.

Lieutenant Sarah Oldridge writes she completed the assessment process and Chief Gordon Ramsay sent out a “survey from SurveyMonkey” in which members of the police department could rank applicants anonymously. She writes Chief Ramsay said it would help him in his selection for Captain.

She says she questioned the practice but did not get a response.

In April, she says she was told she wasn’t getting promoted and a “lesser qualified male Lieutenant was promoted to Captain.”

She said she continued to question the promotion process but could not get the chief to speak with her so she reported her concern to HR via email as well as others within the department.

After that, documents say, she was notified the department was putting her under investigation because of the email. In the complaint, she says, “I believe I was denied a promotion because of my sex (female) and disciplined (placed under investigation) in retaliation for complaining about unfair treatment.’”

From there, the complaint says she filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission but in June received a Dismissal.

Oldridge says the city violated Title VII and the Civil Rights Act and she’s exhausted her options within the administration.

Her lawsuit asks for at least $75,000 in damages and fees saying she was humiliated and suffered financially.

FactFinder 12 emailed the city, Wichita Police and Chief Gordon Ramsay about the lawsuit. A spokesperson from the police department said the city does not comment on pending suits.

Oldridge's attorney sent FactFinder 12 a statement saying they are not commenting on the case other than to say, "we stand by the allegations in the Complaint and will be vigorously pursuing the case in the court of law."