The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Granted Summary Judgment to an Employer for a Police Dispatcher’s FMLA Interference Claim

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Jordan L. Jones

back to workIn Mendel v. City of Gibraltar, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan granted summary judgment to the City of Gibraltar for a police dispatcher’s Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) interference claim. The Plaintiff alleged that he was illegally terminated while on statutory leave. The Court held that the Plaintiff would not have been able to return to work after exhausting his 12 weeks of FMLA leave and therefore he did not have a valid FMLA interference claim.

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A U.S. District Court In Florida Denies An Employer’s Summary Judgment Motion In Part As To A Former Paramedic’s First Amendment Retaliation Claim

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Jordan L. Jones

EMT FLIn Holbrook v. Lee Cnty., a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida denied in part the employer, Lee County’s summary judgment motion against a former paramedic’s First Amendment retaliation claim for speaking out about the Employer’s Medicare and Medicaid billing practices.

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Court Of Appeals For The Seventh Circuit Holds That A Police Officer Returning From Military Leave Was Entitled To Full Longevity Pay Under USERRA

By Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

USERRAIn DeLee v. City of Plymouth, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that a police officer returning from military leave was entitled to full longevity pay for his twelve years of employment under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The Court noted that the City’s of Plymouth’s “longevity benefit is more appropriately characterized as a reward for lengthy service rather than as compensation for worked performed the preceding year” and therefore protected by USERRA.

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Correctional Officer Fails to Find an Adequate Comparator to Support Racial Discrimination Claim

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Kasey Burton

Alabama_Department_of_CorrectionsIn Williams v. Ala. Dep’t of Corr., an Alabama District Court held that an African-American correctional officer failed to prove that he was terminated on the basis of race.  Even though the officer tried to show that the white officer was treated differently, the Court was not convinced the two officers were similarly situated.

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Washington Appeals Court Holds That Some Private Cellular Phone Call Logs And Text Messages Of A Government Official May Qualify As “Public Records” Under The Public Records Act

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Jordan L. Jones

Cell phone privacyIn Nissen v. Pierce County, the Court of Appeals of Washington, Division Two held that “because some of the private cellular phone call logs and text messages . . . [of a prosecutor that were requested by the Plaintiff] may qualify as . . . [‘public records’ under the state’s Public Records Act] the superior court erred in granting the County’s . . . motion to dismiss.” The Court stated that “call logs for a government official’s private cellular phone constitute ‘public records’ only with regard to the calls that relate to government business and only if these call logs are used or retained by the government agency.” The Court also stated “text messages sent or received by a government official constitute ‘public records’ only if the text messages relate to government business.”

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Deputy Sheriffs’ Retaliation Suit Claiming They Were Accused of Being Skinheads Dismissed

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Kasey Burton

false-reportsIn Cox v. Onondaga Cnty. Sheriff’s Dep’t, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of retaliation complaints by white Deputy Sheriffs (located in the state of New York).  Even though the Deputies had set forth a prima facie case of retaliation, the Sheriff’s Department was able to demonstrate non-retaliatory reasons for its actions.  The Deputies were unable to rebut the Department’s non-retaliatory explanations with evidence of pretext.

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Federal District Court Denies Township’s Motion to Dismiss Pennsylvania Police Officer’s Employment Discrimination Complaint Following Active Duty with the Military

By Jordan Jones

userra-candidate-word-cloudIn Dubiak v. S. Abington Twp., the Court denied South Abington Township’s Motion to dismiss a police officer’s complaint that he was discriminated against in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) when he was not rehired following active duty with the Marine Corps.

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Ninth Circuit Rejects San Francisco County’s BFOQ Defense for Policy Excluding Male Corrections Officers from Supervising Female Inmates

By Erica Shelley Nelson

prison (1)In Anderson v. City & Cnty. of San Francisco, the Ninth Circuit reversed the granting of summary judgment to the San Francisco County on claims of sex discrimination, in its jail staffing policies. The court held that the County was unable to meet its burden in demonstrating that it was entitled to a “bona fide occupational qualification” (BFOQ) defense for a policy that excluded male corrections deputies from supervising female inmates.

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Demotion of North Carolina Female Detention Officer for Violation of Unwritten Policy Forbidding Presence of Opposite Sex While Inmates Shower

By Kasey Burton

Unwritten-Rules-HeaderIn Gethers v. Harrison, the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina held that a sheriff’s office did not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of gender when it demoted a female detention officer. The female officer refused to leave the bathroom area while a male inmate was showering. Two other male officers were present, and the inmate was no longer agitated or presenting any sort of threat.  Consequently, the female officer’s presence was determined unnecessary and inappropriate.  During the course of the investigation following the demotion, the Sheriff concluded that Gethers was not truthful and subsequently terminated her on that basis.

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Police Officer with Disciplinary Record Able to Sue for Harassment based on National Origin

By Kasey Burton

discriminating outsiderIn Morshed v County of Lake, the Court held that years of slurs and constant denigration were enough to allow Police Officer Morshed to pursue a national origin harassment claim even though he lost no pay or benefits.

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