By Associated Press - Friday, April 9, 2021

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - Two female police officers allege in a lawsuit that the Overland Park, Kansas, police department discriminated against them when it repeatedly passed over them for promotions in favor of younger, less experienced men.

Capt. Kathleen Morgan and Sgt. Tirsa Otero filed the lawsuit alleging discrimination based on race, age and gender. It was recently moved to the U.S. District Court in Kansas City because its discrimination claims are made under federal law, the Kansas City Star reported.

Police spokesman Officer John Lace declined to comment on the ongoing lawsuit.

Morgan, 57, has served in the department for 25 years, including more than eight years as a captain. Otero, 52, has been with the department for 19 years, with more than eight years as a sergeant.

The lawsuit contends that Morgan has applied multiple times for the rank of police major, but has not been offered the position despite meeting qualifications. She was told the police department “want(s) someone who’s going to be here for a while,” which she contends constitutes age discrimination.

Otero, who is of Puerto Rican descent, alleged she has applied for promotion to captain multiple times, but the positions were filled with younger, less qualified white men.

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