PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Former Tillamook Police Department Lt. Erica Bomar officially filed a $2.5 million suit against the City of Tillamook for sex discrimination, unfair labor practices and retaliation.
The suit, filed January 11, names Police Chief Raymond Rau, Lt. Nickalaus Troxel, City Manager Nathan George and Human Resource Director Jamy Christensen. It seeks a minimum of $2.5 million for economic and noneconomic damages suffered as a result of her employment with the city and her subsequent firing.
A copy of the suit obtained by KOIN 6 News shows numerous claims of civil rights violations, including sex discrimination, unfair labor practices and retaliation purportedly committed against Bomar by the city and its employees.
The litigation follows more than a year of tort claim proceedings. In October 2022, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries upheld Bomar’s right to sue, confirming Bomar’s claims that she was paid less as a TPD lieutenant than Troxel, her subordinate officer, the Tillamook Headlight Herald reports.
“This is a civil rights and employment case involving violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, discriminatory wage rates based on sex, discrimination for filing a wage complaint, discrimination on the basis of sex, whistleblower retaliation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, which resulted in [Bomar’s] termination from her employment with the City of Tillamook, working for the City of Tillamook Police Department,” the lawsuit states.
“[The Bureau of Labor and Industries] determined that during the period of July 1, 2020 – June 31, 2021, Plaintiff, as the Lieutenant, made $98,490.77,” the suit states. “Troxel made $99,294.11 as the Sergeant and Plaintiff’s subordinate.”
The Bureau of Labor and Industries also found that, after Bomar was fired and Troxel was promoted to her position as lieutenant, Troxel was paid 8% more than Bomar. According to the suit, the City of Tillamook discriminated against Bomar’s gender by paying her less for performing the same duties as her male replacement.
“Plaintiff and Troxel performed work that is comparable in nature, but Troxel received higher pay than Plaintiff both as a Sergeant and as Lieutenant,” the lawsuit claims. “This disparity in pay between plaintiff and a male officer is discriminatory on the basis of plaintiff’s gender.”
Bomar has requested a jury trial for all applicable claims. The suit was filed by Bomar’s attorneys in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in Portland.