Seventh Circuit Finds Illinois Deputy Sheriff Was Retaliated Against After Termination for Moonlighting

free-speechBy Erica Shelley Nelson and Sarah Burke

In Yahnke v. Kane County, an Illinois deputy sheriff was terminated after he continued to hold a second job despite being asked to discontinue the work. The deputy sheriff believed the termination was due to his potential run for Sheriff and his political affiliation. The Seventh Circuit agreed, finding the deputy sheriff was entitled to a trial.

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Pennsylvania District Court Finds Correctional Officer Who Violated Legitimate Rule Can Move Forward With Claim of Race Discrimination

credit-cardBy Erica Shelley Nelson and Sarah Burke

In McWilliams v. Cmty. Educ. Ctrs., Inc., an African American correctional officer was terminated for violating a fraternization policy after he helped an inmate deposit money into his prison account. The officer alleged the termination was racially discriminatory and that the prison had allowed a hostile work environment. The U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania found that the officer had established a disparate treatment claim by alleging his punishment was not comparable to white officers who had broken the same rule and the office had established a hostile work environment claim by alleging black officers were subjected to pictures of nooses.

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Arbitrator Finds No Evidence To Prove Discrimination Of Federal Bureau of Prisons, When No Officer Corroborates Events

behind-barsBy Jim Cline and Geoff Kiernan

In Federal Bureau of Prisons, an arbitrator ruled that a corrections officer could not sustain his claim that the Federal Bureau of Prisons discriminated against him for being Hispanic. This finding was largely because none of his co-workers corroborated his story and thus there was no evidence to substantiate his claim.

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Federal Appeals Court Holds that Resigning Alabama Corrections Officer Cannot Sue for Disability Discrimination if Provided an Opportunity to Appeal His Pending Termination


policyBy Mitchell Riese and Mathias M. Deeg

In Williams v. Alabama Dep’t. of Corrections, the U.S.Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit determined that a Corrections Officer’s resignation could not be considered an adverse employment action on the part of his employer if he was provided with reasonable alternatives to resignation. The Court found the employer’s offer to hold a formal hearing at which the Officer could tell his side of the story to be a sufficient alternative to immediate resignation.

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Court Holds Alabama Fire Chief Who Raised Possibility of Discriminatory Motivation Covered by ADA Despite Direct Violations of Work Rules

fire putter outBy Mitchell Riese and Mathias M. Deeg

In Green v. Pike Rd. Volunteer Fire Protection Authority, the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama upheld a Fire Chief’s claim of disability discrimination despite the existence of non-discriminatory reasons for his termination. The Court found that the employer’s comments about the Fire Chief’s past drug and alcohol use cast enough doubt on the stated motivation for his termination to send the case to trial.

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Illinois Police Commander Unable to Perform the Essential Functions of Job Cannot Sue for Disability Discrimination

back injury

By Mitchell Riese and Mathias M. Deeg

In Briscoe v. Village of Vernon Hills, the U.S. district Court for the Northern District of Illinois held that that a former Police Commander that was unable to perform the essential functions of his job with or without reasonable accommodation by Vernon Hills could not prevail on a claim of disability discrimination. The court found that the Commander’s inability to work removed him from the protection of the ADA.

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Virginia District Court Finds FBI Special Agents Were Not Discriminated Against After Being Called “Princesses” and “Prima Donnas”

tiaraBy: Sarah Burke and Mitchell Riese

In Cowley v. Lynch, four FBI special agents alleged that the FBI had created a hostile work environment, discriminated against them based on their sex in denying them transfers, and had retaliated against them by reorganizing their department in order to break up their “clique.” The FBI argued that the restructuring and transfer denials were due to legitimate department needs and that a hostile work environment had not been established. The district court agreed with the FBI, finding that stray comments made around the agents did not rise to the level of hostile work environment and that the reasons for the restructuring and transfer were legitimate.

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Pennsylvania District Court Denies Qualified Immunity For Police Commissioner Who Terminated Officer After Filing a Grievance

overtimeBy: Erica Shelley Nelson and Sarah Burke

In Rossiter v. Ramsey, a Philadelphia police officer was terminated for alleged overtime abuses and then subsequently reinstated following an arbitration hearing. After his reinstatement, the officer brought charges that he had been retaliated against for exercising his First Amendment right to associate by his police commissioner. The commissioner argued qualified immunity and moved for summary judgment.

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Seventh Circuit Holds That A Milwaukee Deputy Union Vice President Failed To Prove A First Amendment Employment Retaliation Claim

By: Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

In Graber v. Clarke, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that a deputy sheriff sergeant, who was also the Union Vice President, failed to prove a First Amendment employment retaliation claim under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the County of Milwaukee and its Sheriff. The Seventh Circuit stated that even though he had presented union complaints he had failed to “establish a causal connection between his constitutionally protected speech and an adverse employment action.”

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Against Illinois Police Union President’s Who Made Shooting Threats Loses First Amendment Retaliation Claim

By: Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

In Kafka v. Grady, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted the employer’s summary judgment motion against a former police officer and union president’s First Amendment retaliation claim. The court held that the timing of the officer’s union speech and his alleged deprivations were too attenuated to find that the union speech was a motivating factor behind any adverse employment action.

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