Maryland Juvenile Detention Officer has no ADA right to Continue Position when Bad Knee Limits his Ability to Restrain Detainees

By: Jim Cline & Harrison Owens

In Raiford v. Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, a Maryland District Court dismissed a former Resident Advisor Trainee’s failure-to-accommodate and constructive discharge claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In his complaint, the resident adviser claimed that he was constructively discharged and his employer failed to accommodate him after he suffered a knee injury that prevented him from physically restraining detainees. The District Court found that detainee supervision and physical restraint were essential job functions, there was no vacant position available, his requested accommodation of permanent light-duty work was not reasonable, and he did not show that the Department forced him to resign.

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New Jersey Officers Retaliatory Transfer Charge Following Quota Complaints Fail When Court Finds Poor Performance, Not Complaints, Led to Transfer

By: Jim Cline & Harrison Owens

In Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 1, et al. v. City of Camden, et al., a New Jersey District Court dismissed several officers’ claims that they had been retaliated against, and one officer’s claim that his FMLA rights had been denied by the City. In their complaint, the officers claimed that several defendants had retaliated against them or interfered with their FMLA rights after they spoke out against a “directed patrol” policy. The District Court dismissed all of their claims because the officers failed to show that their poor performance under the policy was not the primary reason for their transfers. The Court also found that there was no evidence that the defendants denied one of the officers his rights under the FMLA or harmed him.

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Baltimore Corrections Officer Could Bring Claim For Violation Of ADA When Wrongfully Demoted Because Of His Inflammatory Disease

By: Jim Cline & Harrison Owens

In Allen v. Baltimore County, a Maryland District Court allowed a corrections officer to continue with his claim for disability discrimination under the ADA against his employer.  In his complaint, the officer claimed that his employer had caused him to sign a demotion agreement and terminated him because he suffered from an inflammatory disease.  The District Court found that the officer could have performed his job if his employer had accommodated his disability, such as by allowing him time to take his medication or giving him light duty.

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Colorado Firefighter Did Not Have ADA Claim Because His Medical Limitations Posed a “Direct Threat” To Public Health And Safety.

By: Jim Cline & Harrison Owens

In Bailey v. City of Englewood, a Colorado District Court dismissed the claims of a former firefighter/paramedic that he had been wrongfully discharged and that the City had failed to accommodate his disability. In his complaint, the firefighter/paramedic claimed that his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had been violated because he was fired following back surgery. The City argued that his depression, which occurred after his surgery, caused him to be a direct threat to those he served and unable to perform his essential job functions. The District Court agreed with the City, and dismissed the firefighter/paramedic’s case.

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Maine Police Chief With Alcoholism Had Valid Claims Of Wrongful Termination under the ADA And Interference With His FMLA Rights

By Reba Weiss and Harrison Owen

In Young v. Town of Bar Harbor, a District Court found that a former police chief was able to bring a claim against the Town of Bar Harbor for violating his claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and FMLA. In his complaint, the police chief alleged that he had been wrongfully discharged after disclosing his alcoholism, which was perceived as a disability, and that the Town had failed to reasonably accommodate him and violated his FMLA rights. The District Court found that the police chief had a valid claim for wrongful discharge due to a perceived disability and interference with his FMLA rights, but dismissed his other claims.

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Nevada County Detention Worker Could Not Sustain ADA Claim Because His Anxiety Prevented Him From Attending to Job Duties

By Reba Weiss and Harrison Owen 

In Lane v. Clark County, a U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a Nevada District Court’s dismissal of a former juvenile detention center cook’s claim that he had been discriminated against in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In his complaint, the cook claimed that he had been terminated due to his anxiety in violation of the ADA. The district court found that the anxiety prevented him from performing the essential functions of his job, and the Court of Appeals agreed. Therefore, his claim for violation of the ADA was dismissed.

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U.S. District Court Hold Pennsylvania Corrections Officer’s with Joint Disease not Entitled to Control Room Position as Accommodation

By Reba Weiss and Brittany Torrence

In Gera v. County of Schuylkill, the U. S. District Court of Pennsylvania rejected a pro se former corrections officer’s ADA disability and retaliation claims, granting summary judgment to Schuylkill County because the officer failed to show that he was a qualified individual within the meaning of the ADA, failed to show retaliation, and his disability benefits claim precluded his ADA claim.

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Seventh Circuit Finds that Juvenile Detention Employee Could Not Bring Race Discrimination Claim After Supervisor Threatens He Would “Take Them To The Woodshed”

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Sarah Burke

In Carothers v. County of Cook, the Seventh Circuit found that a black employee at a juvenile detention center could not move forward with her Title VII race discrimination claim, despite evidence that her supervisor had told a group of employees he would “take them to the woodshed” and made a problematic comment about Malcom X. In her complaint, the employee alleged not only race discrimination, but also disability discrimination, gender discrimination, and retaliation. The Court found that because the statements were not made by the ultimate decision maker, the woodshed statement did not hold racial connotations, and the Malcom X comment was made three years prior, the County’s motion for summary judgment was appropriate.

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Eighth Circuit Finds St. Louis Police Officer Suffered Adverse Employment Action Despite Having No Change in Pay, Benefits, or Rank

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Sarah Burke

In Bonenberger v. St. Louis Metro. Police Dept., a white police officer applied for and was denied the position of Assistant Academy Director of the St. Louis, Missouri Police Academy, an African American woman was chosen instead. The police officer sued department officials alleging race discrimination and conspiracy to discriminate. A jury found in the officer’s favor on claims against three of his superiors regarding both claims. The department appealed the district court’s denial of their motion for a judgment as a matter of law.

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Michigan District Court Finds Police Officer Could Claim Retaliation and First Amendment Violations After Reporting Sexual Harassment

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Sarah Burke

In Jennings v. Wayne County, a Michigan police officer was able to establish a claim for retaliation after she complained about sexual harassment. The district court found that being frozen out of meetings, not receiving backup, and being stripped of her Blackberry could constitute an adverse action. The district court also found the officer had established a First Amendment claim because her complaints about the harassment involved a matter of public concern.

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