Federal Court Finds Mississippi Police Officer’s Facebook Comments Criticizing Department’s Decision Not to Attend Funeral of Officer Killed in the Line of Duty Not Protected Speech

By Emily Nelson

Thumbs DownSusan Graziosi, a sergeant of the Greenville Mississippi Police Department, alleged she was fired in retaliation for posting criticisms of her police Chief Freddie Cannon on Facebook The federal district court dismissed her free speech claim in Graziosi v. City of Greenville, finding that the Chief was justified in firing her in order to minimize disruption in the department.

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Massachusetts Paramedic’s USERRA Claims Denied When He Fails to Prove Discrimination, Not Budget Cuts, Was Reason for Termination

By Emily Nelson

LayoffIn Rebello v. City of New Bedford, a federal district court granted summary judgment to the City on a Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) claim, after Paramedic Joseph J. Rebello failed to establish that his reserve service was the proximate cause of his discharge when he was laid off during a city-wide staffing reduction.

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Sergeant’s Inaction Found to be Sufficient to Make Prima Facie Harassment Claims against Him

By Oliver Enquist

two 3d humans look at human with megaphoneIn Ellis v. Houston, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of five African American corrections officers who brought claims against five of their supervisors for race based harassment and retaliation.  The appellate court ruled that the officers’ claims stated a cause of action and reversed a district court ruling that had dismissed all the allegations. [Read more...]

Pennsylvania District Court Finds Chief’s Badmouthing and Sharing of Officer’s Personal Medical Information Does Not Qualify As Unlawful Retaliation for Officer’s Disability Accommodation Request

By Emily Nelson

Case Dismissed 4Plaintiff Leif Henry, a police officer for the City of Allentown, Pennsylvania, filed suit against the City alleging, among other things, disability discrimination and retaliation under the Rehabilitation Act after a superior officer complained about Henry’s request for a medical accommodation, and Henry was then subjected to an internal affairs investigation. The district court dismissed both claims in Henry v. City of Allentown, finding that Henry had not shown that he suffered an “adverse employment action” by his superior officer, Chief Roger MacLean.

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Invoking Public Safety Employer Exemption in ADEA, City of Cleveland Permissibly Forces Police Officers Aged 65+ into Retirement during Budget Crisis

By Mitchel Wilson

IRetirement 1n Sadie v. City of Cleveland, 118 FEP Cases 1104 (6th Cir. 2013), the appellate court upheld the lower court for dismissing the suit of a group of former Cleveland police officers who were not retained after age 65.  Their suit alleged that the City’s mandatory retirement program violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), an Ohio discrimination statute, and equal protection of the 14th Amendment.

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Florida Mass Drug Testing Arbitration Result Appears to Turn on its Facts and CBA Language

By Jim Cline

CommentaryOccasionally, an arbitration decision calls out for a bit more explanation and the Arbitrator’s Ruling allowing the Ocala Fire Department to “Mass Test” its Firefighters is one such decision.  As described in our recent case note on the decision, the arbitrator found that the reasonable suspicion language in the CBA allowed the City to undertake a “mass test” all firefighters with any type of access to fire trucks from which narcotics had gone missing.

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New Jersey Dispatch Center Manager with Leukemia Who Claims Retaliation after Seeking Accommodation from “Moldy Room” Presents Viable Discrimination and FMLA Claims

Retaliation 2In Moore v. County of Camden, 20 WH Cases 2d 1369 (D.N.J. 2013), a New Jersey federal district ruled declined to dismiss and set for trial a Dispatch Managers Claim that he was retaliated against after he presented his health issues.

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Ninth Circuit Holds that Crimes Committed as Soldier are Not Protected “Performance of Service” Under the USERRA

By Mitchel Wilson

Gavel'In an unpublished decision Nazario v. City of Riverside, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s decision to dismiss a discharged Riverside PD officer’s Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”) claims, denying him a trial, because he could not show he was fired and not rehired because of his military service.

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Four Times is Not a Charm: Despite Four Multiple Complaints, Cook County Corrections Sergeant’s Gender Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment Claims Not Trial Worthy

By Mitchel Wilson

ComplaintIn Mercer v. Cook County, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, (in an unpublished opinion) upheld the trial court’s decision to dismiss Corrections Sergeant Pamela Mercer’s claims of Gender Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment.  It agreed with the lower court because Mercer could not show the conduct directed at her was because of gender and her transfer was not an adverse employer action and the incidents cited were not severe/pervasive enough to alter the Officer’s working conditions. [Read more...]

Deceptive Illinois County Sheriff Seeking to “Give the Boys a Chance” to be K-9 Officers Uses Toy-Coyote-Decoy to Unsuccessfully Disguise Gender Discrimination

By Mitchel Wilson

Men Only SignIn Aldridge v. Lake Cnty. Sheriff’s Office, an Illinois federal trial court dismissed the Lake County’s motion for summary judgment and permitted a female deputy’s gender discrimination claims to go to trial.   The Court concluded, the various evidence including the statements that the Sheriff “wanted to give the boys a chance” at the K-9 assignment, was enough to demonstrate a viable discrimination claim.

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