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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Sixth Circuit Finds Michigan Police Chief That Deleted Entire Contents of Former Employee’s Laptop Did Not Commit an Illegal Search and Seizure

By: Erica Shelley Nelson and Sarah Burke

In Lange v. McGinnis, a Michigan police captain deleted all the files on a former employee’s hard drive before returning it to him. The employee sued the city and the captain alleging an illegal search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. The Sixth Circuit held that the police captain was protected from the suit under qualified immunity because nothing indicated his actions were impermissible. [Read more…]

Federal Judge Rules that Denial of Position with Prospective Law Enforcement Employer Because of Applicant’s Union Activities May Violate First Amendment

By: Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

In Walter v. City of St. Peters, a Federal Court Judge in Missouri ruled that a police offer stated sufficiently plausible facts to survive a motion to dismiss his claim that the City, and the individual supervisors within the city, violated his First Amendment rights, when they refused to hire the officer as park ranger, as part of an unofficial policy of retaliating against workers for union activity.

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Second Circuit Finds Pregnant Corrections Officer Was Discriminated Against After Being Denied Light Duty

By: Loyd Willaford and Sarah Burke

In Legg v. Ulster County, a pregnant corrections officer with a high risk pregnancy was denied light duty by her supervisors. The officer ended up suing the county, alleging she was denied light duty because she was pregnant. The Second Circuit agreed, and found the officer was entitled to take her case before a jury.

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New York Court Finds Army Reservists Did Not Show Discrimination After Denial of Vacation and Sick Benefits

By Loyd Willaford and Sarah Burke

In Matter of Andrews v. State, a group of Army Reservists that were also employed by the New York Department of Corrections alleged the Department had the violated Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act after they were denied vacation and sick leave credit during their military absences. A New York court found the officers had failed to offer proof that other employees had received vacation and sick credit while on comparable types of leave and therefore could not continue on with their lawsuit.

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Michigan District Court Finds Two White Police Officers Experienced Reverse Discrimination

By: Loyd Willaford and Sarah Burke

In O’Brien v. City of Benton Harbor, two white Michigan police officers alleged they experienced reverse race discrimination after the black city manager terminated them so that he could promote a black employee to police chief. A District Court in Michigan found the officers had direct evidence to support their alleged claim of discrimination because the city manager told officers they were the wrong color to be the chief because they were not black.

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Alabama District Court Finds Police Officer Did Not Experience Sexual Harassment After Police Chief Repeatedly Hits Him In Groin

By: Loyd Willaford and Sarah Burke

In Pipes v. City of Falkville, a former Alabama police officer and chaplain alleged he was the victim of sexual harassment after the Police Chief hit his groin area on two occasions. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama disagreed and found there was no evidence this was done because of the officer’s sex.  The Court ruled that it was merely horseplay.

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