Firefighter with Only One Good Eye Still May Retain Employment Rights

By Emily Nelson

panning_firetruckAnthony Rorrer, a firefighter for the City of Stow, Ohio, alleged the City violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by firing him after he completely lost vision in one eye in a non-work related accident. In Rorrer v. City of Stow, a Federal Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s grant of Summary Judgment to the City, allowing Rorrer’s ADA claims against the City to proceed.

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Now it’s the City’s “Problem”: Federal Court Finds New Mexico Corrections Officer Can Proceed with Claim that City Failed to Provide a Reasonable Accommodation for Her Depression, Insomnia, and Migraine Headaches

By Emily Nelson

Not my problemRuby Maes, a former corrections officer at the City of Española Detention Facility, sued the City and the Detention Facility’s Director for disability discrimination, alleging that it refused to provide a reasonable accommodation for her disability, responding to her request telling her that her health issues were “your problem.”  The City filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that Maes’s medical conditions (depression, severe insomnia, and migraines) did not qualify as a “disability” because the inability to sleep does not “substantially limit a major life activity,” under the ADA.  The federal district court of New Mexico disagreed with the City, finding, among other things, that such conditions do qualify as a disability, and allowed Maes to proceed with her discrimination claims. [Read more...]

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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