King County Corrections Officer Who “Looks Good For Her Age” May Pursue Her Sexual Harassment Claim

By: Loyd Willaford and Sarah Burke

In Coleman-Askew v. King County, a King County female corrections officer alleged she was sexually harassed after her supervisor, Captain Hardy, followed her to the gym and made comments about how she “looked good for her age.”  The corrections officer sued, alleging these comments caused her to request a transfer to a different department and resulted in a loss of workplace benefits. The department alleged these comments were not sexual in nature and therefore did not constitute sexual harassment. The United States District Court in Western Washington agreed with the officer and found that she could pursue her claims against the department.   The District Court did dismiss some of the officer’s claims, specifically those against Captain Hardy’s supervisor.

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Second Circuit Finds NYPD Officer Was Not Punished for Taking Military Leave

By: Loyd Willaford and Sarah Burke

In Caines v. City of New York, a former NYPD police officer and National Guard reservist alleged the department had illegally discriminated against him after he took military leave. The Second Circuit found that because the officer never experienced any negative actions due to his military status he could not successfully pursue his claim.

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Police Department Promotion Policies Did Not Automatically Create Property Right

By Loyd Willaford and Matt Baker

In Mitchell v. Cooper, three police sergeants sued their employer, a police department, for a violation of procedural and substantive due process. They argue that the department violated departmental directives by not notifying qualified applicants of two lieutenant vacancies. The plaintiffs also alleged that they were not considered, and that unqualified candidates were given the jobs. The U.S. Federal District Court for Delaware dismissed some of the sergeants’ claims.

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Alaska Police Officer Can Pursue Damages Under the ADA For Opposing Retaliation Against a Disabled Officer

By Loyd Willaford and Sarah Burke

In Henry v. Municipality of Anchorage, an Alaska police officer claimed he was wrongfully terminated after he complained a fellow officer had been retaliated against under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  A federal district court in Alaska held that the complaining officer could recover damages for his retaliation claim under the ADA even though he himself was not disabled.

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District Court in Louisiana Finds Police Department Sick Leave Policy Too Broad

By: Loyd Willaford and Sarah Burke

In Taylor v. City of Shreveport, a group of Shreveport, Louisiana police officers sued their Shreveport Police Department (“SPD”) after they were required to submit detailed doctor’s notes after two days of sick leave. The SPD countered that the policy was necessary to determine fitness for duty. The District Court ruled that a jury could find that the policy was overly-broad and the SPD did not have a valid business reason to require it.

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Court Dismisses Former Georgia Police Officer’s Claims that Department’s Failure to Transfer Him Were Discriminatory

By: Loyd Willaford and Brittany Torrence

In Pasqualetti v. Unified Gov’t of Athens-Clarke County, the U.S. District Court of Georgia dismissed a former police officer’s claims that the Athens-Clarke County Police Department discriminated against him based on its perception that he suffered from a mental disability and that the Department retaliated against him when he filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

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Reading, PA Police Officer’s “Stress Leave” Not Enough To Imply a Disability Under the Rehabilitation Act

By: Loyd Willaford and Mathias Deeg

In Cortazzo v. City of Reading, the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that a Reading police officer’s “stress leave” did not qualify as a declared disability under the Rehabilitation Act.  The Court also ruled that by maintaining disciplinary actions already in place, the City did not engage in any adverse employment actions in response to the officer’s leave.

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Pennsylvania Corrections Officer Who Falsified Prison Documents Was Not Discriminated Against After Termination

By: Loyd Willaford and Sarah Burke

In Mitchell v. Community Education Centers, Incorporated, a Pennsylvania District Court ruled a former correctional officer was not wrongfully terminated after he wrote Pablo Escobar and Fidel Castro on the prison facilities sign in sheets. Because the officer had been placed on a “last chance agreement” and falsifying prison documents was a terminable offense, the District Court ruled that no reasonable juror could find that he was illegally discriminated against.

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Maryland Federal Judge says Transfer of Baltimore Police Officer is Not an Adverse Employment Action

By Loyd Willaford and Sarah Burke

In Williams v. Baltimore County, an African American police officer alleged he was retaliated against after he was transferred to a new department. A Maryland district court disagreed, and found that a transfer without evidence of loss of pay, opportunities, or benefits was not an adverse employment action.

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Former New York Police Officer Cannot Sue for Disability Discrimination Without Clear Record of Substantial Impairment

By: Loyd Willaford and Mathias Deeg

In Hensel v. City of Utica, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York ruled that a former police officer’s claim of disability discrimination against the City of Utica could not proceed because he had failed to show that his claimed disabilities impaired his major life activities.

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