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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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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A Whiteout in Dallas Leads to a Police Lieutenant Unsuccessful Discrimination Claim against the City

By Anthony R

BlizzardIn Waters v. City of Dallas, the Fifth Ciruit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling dismissing a Dallas Police Lieutenant’s racial discrimination claim.

Marlon Waters, an African-American male, was employed as a lieutenant by the Dallas Police Department (DPD). Waters’ discrimination claim resulted from circumstances surrounding the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. Over the course of the NBA All-Star event, a snow storm hit Dallas. Waters, one of the designated watch commanders for the event, reacted by allowing his subordinates to report to work early. However, because of budgetary constraints, DPD commanders (Watson included) were ordered to minimize overtime expenditures.

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Fifth Circuit Holds that Problem Dallas County Juvenile Officer Not Protected from Termination

By David Worley

TerminationIn Stokes v. Dallas County Juvenile Dep’t, 20, WH Cases 2d 327 (5th Cir. 2013) the Fifth Circuit Federal Court  of Appeals upheld summary judgment on retaliation claims under both Title VII and the FMLA when the plaintiff could indicate no connection between her termination and the activities protected by both those statutes. Further the employer provided substantial evidence supporting the termination of the plaintiff, including numerous instances of poor performance that resulted in discipline. Although the plaintiff could make a prima facie case regarding the FMLA claim (but not the Title VII claim), the court nevertheless found summary judgement was proper when no reasonable person could find that discrimination had occurred.  [Read more...]