Sue the City as a Police Officer

It’s a challenging undertaking for a police officer to sue the city. Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, is here to protect the rights of all officers, whether they are facing a wage dispute, workplace harassment, or an injury on the job. Our attorneys will take a personalized approach to your case, guiding you as you seek to hold the city accountable for your damages.

Police work is dangerous. Officers can be exposed to many hazardous conditions on the job, leading to injuries or even death. When this happens due to the city’s negligence, can police officers sue the city? The answer is a definitive yes. Police officers can seek compensation for work-related injuries.

Unlike other public servants in the state, the state’s workers’ compensation system does not cover city police officers. If they are injured at work or suffer harm from harassment or discrimination, they can file claims against New York City.

Officers with issues with the city unrelated to injuries, such as harassment, discrimination, or other workplace issues, may also sue.

When law enforcement officers in New York need legal assistance, they need a skilled and knowledgeable team to protect their rights. Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, has handled numerous cases for police officers, helping them resolve their legal issues successfully. 

The Role of Meirowitz & Wasserberg: Advocating for Police Officers

At Meirowitz & Wasserberg, we firmly support police officers’ rights. We know about the dangers of police work and the dedication officers have to make the community safe for all. 

As a sworn officer, you expect to be protected from unfair working practices, unsafe working conditions, and harassment. Our team will help you every step of the way, including:

  • Analyzing your circumstances 
  • Determining and explaining your legal options
  • Evaluating your claim
  • Investigating and gathering evidence
  • Developing a legal strategy for your case
  • Negotiating on your behalf
  • Litigating your case
  • Representing you in hearings at trial, if necessary 

Our attorneys understand that the issues involved with suing the city are complex. We will work with you to seek a fair and just resolution.

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Understanding Police Officers' Legal Rights

As a police officer, suing the city can be challenging. Understanding your legal rights is essential to know how to sue the city for negligence.

As a police officer, you have the right to fair and equal treatment under the law. All officers should have the same opportunities for assignment, career advancement, and promotions without facing discrimination based on age, religion, race, or gender. When the department fails to protect and uphold those rights, you may opt to sue the city.

Injuries can occur on the job, but some incidents happen due to the city’s negligence. While police work is dangerous, the city must protect each officer’s safety by providing the proper equipment and adequate training. While some civil servants can seek workers’ compensation benefits, that option is not available to New York City police officers. When the city doesn’t fulfill its obligations, you can pursue a lawsuit to seek compensation. 

Common Workplace Issues Faced by Police Officers

Officers can face numerous workplace issues, such as the following:

  • Safety concerns: Cities must provide the proper equipment and safety measures to protect their officers in the line of duty. 
  • Discrimination: Officers can face racial, religious, gender, age, sexual orientation, or other types of discrimination on the job. As a result, they may experience stress, a lack of job satisfaction, and limited promotion opportunities. 
  • Harassment:  Harassment from superiors or colleagues—whether verbal, physical, or psychological—can severely impact an officer’s well-being and performance. 
  • Wage disputes: These include concerns related to overtime pay, salary adjustments, or the accuracy of wage calculations.

Legal Avenues for Seeking Justice as a Police Officer

If you’re a police officer seeking justice, you have a few legal options available to you: 

  • Internal complaints: Many departments have established procedures for filing internal complaints and grievances. Officers can address issues directly within the department, seeking a resolution through formal channels. 
  • Union representation: Most New York police officers have unions that can provide legal assistance and representation. 
  • Civil lawsuits: These can address various workplace issues, including injuries on the job, discrimination, harassment, and other violations of your rights.

Building a Strong Case: Evidence and Documentation

Gathering and organizing evidence helps build a strong foundation for your case. With solid evidence, you can substantiate your claims and boost your credibility. In any case, you will need proof of negligence or wrongdoing. 

Memos, photographs, office records, and emails can prove the city was responsible for the harm you suffered. Eyewitness testimony is also valuable evidence. These accounts provide additional credibility to your claim.

Navigating the Complexities of City Government Liability

In pursuing justice as a police officer facing workplace issues, you must navigate city government liability laws. Public servants can sue the city, but city governments often enjoy a degree of immunity from certain lawsuits. There are exceptions to this protection when the city’s actions violate established rights or lead to an injury. 

Proving liability can be difficult since it often requires demonstrating a failure to address the issue adequately or negligence in preventing injustice or injuries. One of the problems lies in establishing a direct link between the city’s actions or omissions and the harm experienced. This often involves demonstrating how city policies, decisions, or practices contributed to the circumstances leading to workplace issues.

You need an attorney with extensive experience in employment law and civil rights, which can be instrumental in building a solid case. These professionals can help formulate strategies to demonstrate the city’s liability and its role in workplace issues. For those injured on the job, you need a legal team with experience suing governmental entities for negligence. 

Collaborating with Unions: Strengthening Workers' Legal Claims

Unions protect the rights and well-being of their members. As a police officer, your union can be a powerful ally in your pursuit of justice. Along with your attorney, unions have the experience and resources to strengthen your case. 

Unions are well-versed in navigating the bureaucracy of legal procedures and administrative processes. They can streamline the steps involved in pursuing justice, strengthening your efforts for change.

In many cases, union collaboration can lead to negotiation and mediation with employers. Unions can engage in discussions to find resolutions that benefit both parties, alleviating the need for lengthy legal battles. 

However, despite assistance from a union, you still want to have an attorney to help protect your rights in your case. 

The Impact of Legal Action on Workplace Conditions

The result of any legal action can lead to systemic changes in law enforcement agencies’ policies, procedures, and training. All officers should be encouraged to recognize their role as leaders for positive change. Pursuing justice can rectify individual wrongs and pave the way for a more just environment. 

Need to Sue the City? Contact Meirowitz & Wasserberg

If you want to know how to sue the city of New York, our award-winning attorneys can help. Any lawsuit involving a police department or city entity can be complicated, so you should have an experienced legal team on your side.  

At Meirowitz & Wasserberg, our personal injury lawyers and workplace attorneys are here to ensure the voices of police officers are heard and that their rights are protected. Contact our office and schedule a consultation by calling 212-897-1988.

Frequently Asked Questions About Police Officers' Lawsuits

The time limit to file a lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations, varies based on the type of claim. You will want to consult a legal professional to understand the specific time frame applicable to your situation. 

However, to file a lawsuit against the city in New York, you must provide a notice to sue within 90 days after the incident. Failure to do so might bar you from seeking any compensation for your damages. If you’re experiencing a workplace issue, contact a lawyer immediately.

The law prohibits retaliation for filing a lawsuit. Employers cannot take adverse actions against you in response to your legal actions. If you experience retaliation, you may have grounds for additional legal claims.

The costs will depend on several factors, such as the case’s complexity. The attorney will often work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only collect legal fees when they win the case. 


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