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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U.S. District Court Denies Employer’s Motion to Dismiss Illinois Police Officer and Reserve Marine’s USERRA Retaliation Suit

marine dress lineBy: Jim Cline and Jordan L. Jones

In Bello v. Village. of Skokie, the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois denied the employers motion to dismiss a police officer and reserve marine’s suit under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA. The court held that the officer had stated a valid claim of discrimination and retaliation under USERRA warranting a trial.

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U.S. Court Of Appeals Decides That ADA Does Not Protect Oregon Police Officer With ADHD

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Brennen Johnson

adhdIn Weaving v. City of Hillsboro, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that an Oregon police officer with ADHD could not qualify as disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prevented him from asserting the ADA’s protections. In his lawsuit, the Officer alleged that the City violated the ADA by terminating him because of this ADHD. At trial, a jury agreed with him and awarded over $775,000 in damages, including back-pay and front-pay, as well as attorney’s fees. However, the Court of Appeals reviewed the case and overruled the verdict after determining that the Officer’s ADHD did not present symptoms that were severe enough to qualify as a disability under the ADA.

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Fire Union and County in Florida Pay for Their Cooperation in Retaliating Against Firefighter Members

By Jim Cline and Jordan Jones

backstabberIn Booth v. Pasco Cnty., the Eleventh Circuit held that a Florida Fire Union and the County were liable for their retaliation against two firefighter union members. The Court rejected the Union’s claims that its communications warning their members that an EEOC complaint the firefighters brought against the Union and its members would cause their dues to increase when a jury had determined the primary purpose of the communication was retaliations, not a genuine notice of a dues increase. The Court also upheld the jury verdict, holding that the County had unlawfully retaliated when it ordered the firefighters to submit to a fitness for duty process, a process initiated after it alleged that the content of their EEOC complaint revealed they were “paranoid” and raised a fitness question.

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D.C. Corrections Officer’s Diabetes Was Not A Disability Under The ADA Because It Was Not “Substantially Limiting”

By Reba Weiss and Harrison Owens

yes or noIn Coleman-Lee v. Government of the District of Columbia, a U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a D.C. District Court’s dismissal of a correctional officer’s lawsuit for disability discrimination.  In his complaint, the correctional officer argued that he was discriminated against when he was terminated for falling asleep on the job, which he claimed was caused by his diabetes.  The jury found that the officer was not disabled within the ADA’s definition, as he did not show that he could not have controlled his diabetes.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the jury’s decision, as his case was not appealed correctly.

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Michigan African-American Officer’s Racial Discrimination Claim Barred After He Was Terminated For Fraudulently Issuing Traffic Ticket

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Harrison Owens

RacialDiscriminationPaperDollsIn Burns v. City of Saginaw, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a Michigan District Court’s dismissal of an African-American police officer’s claim for retaliation against his employer after he was terminated for issuing a fraudulent ticket.  In his complaint, the officer claimed that he had been terminated in retaliation for filing a complaint with the EEOC, and that the police chief of his Department, who is white, used a racial slur against him in relation to his EEOC complaint.  The Court dismissed his claim on summary judgment on the grounds that the officer’s EEOC complaint was actually filed following the citizen complaint relating to the fraudulent ticket, a white officer had similarly been terminated for filing a false accident report, and the police chief’s alleged racial slur was hearsay.

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