Alaska Police Officer Can Pursue Damages Under the ADA For Opposing Retaliation Against a Disabled Officer

By Loyd Willaford and Sarah Burke

In Henry v. Municipality of Anchorage, an Alaska police officer claimed he was wrongfully terminated after he complained a fellow officer had been retaliated against under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  A federal district court in Alaska held that the complaining officer could recover damages for his retaliation claim under the ADA even though he himself was not disabled.

[Read more…]

District Court in Louisiana Finds Police Department Sick Leave Policy Too Broad

By: Loyd Willaford and Sarah Burke

In Taylor v. City of Shreveport, a group of Shreveport, Louisiana police officers sued their Shreveport Police Department (“SPD”) after they were required to submit detailed doctor’s notes after two days of sick leave. The SPD countered that the policy was necessary to determine fitness for duty. The District Court ruled that a jury could find that the policy was overly-broad and the SPD did not have a valid business reason to require it.

[Read more…]

Court Dismisses Former Georgia Police Officer’s Claims that Department’s Failure to Transfer Him Were Discriminatory

By: Loyd Willaford and Brittany Torrence

In Pasqualetti v. Unified Gov’t of Athens-Clarke County, the U.S. District Court of Georgia dismissed a former police officer’s claims that the Athens-Clarke County Police Department discriminated against him based on its perception that he suffered from a mental disability and that the Department retaliated against him when he filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

[Read more…]

Reading, PA Police Officer’s “Stress Leave” Not Enough To Imply a Disability Under the Rehabilitation Act

By: Loyd Willaford and Mathias Deeg

In Cortazzo v. City of Reading, the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that a Reading police officer’s “stress leave” did not qualify as a declared disability under the Rehabilitation Act.  The Court also ruled that by maintaining disciplinary actions already in place, the City did not engage in any adverse employment actions in response to the officer’s leave.

[Read more…]

Former New York Police Officer Cannot Sue for Disability Discrimination Without Clear Record of Substantial Impairment

By: Loyd Willaford and Mathias Deeg

In Hensel v. City of Utica, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York ruled that a former police officer’s claim of disability discrimination against the City of Utica could not proceed because he had failed to show that his claimed disabilities impaired his major life activities.

[Read more…]

Michigan Police Officer Disability Claims Rejected Due to Aberrant Behavior

By: Loyd Willaford and Brittany Torrence

In Michael v. City of Troy Police Dep’t, the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected former Michigan police officer Todd Michael’s discrimination claims.  It ruled that, even though Michael suffered from a brain tumor, his “odd and disturbing” behavior and the opinions of two psychologists suggesting that he was no longer fit to do police work meant the City was justified in not allowing Michael to return to work.

[Read more…]

Tennessee Corrections Officer Was Not Discriminated Against When County Had Reinstated Him After Wrongful But Brief Termination

By: Loyd Willaford and Sarah Burke

In Parker v. Metro. Gov’t of Nashville, a former Tennessee corrections officer was terminated after his FMLA leave expired. After recognizing its mistake, the sheriff’s office quickly reinstated the officer and placed him on a disability pension. The officer sued alleging both FMLA retaliation and ADA violations. The US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville division, found that because the officer was quickly reinstated, no adverse employment action had occurred and therefore the officer could not state a claim under either statute.

[Read more…]

District Court in Pennsylvania Says Police Officer May Go Forward With Suit Against Department After He Was Terminated for DUI

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Sarah Burke

In Hoffman v. City of Bethlehem (Case), Hoffman v. City of Bethlehem (Court’s Order)  a federal district court in Pennsylvania denied a police department’s motion to dismiss a police officer’s disability discrimination claim. The district court ruled that the department’s reliance on a fitness for duty test before denying the officer reinstatement was enough to demonstrate they regarded him as disabled and provide him protection under the Rehabilitation Act.

[Read more…]

Missouri District Court Finds Officers’ Letter Critical of Police Chief Was Not Protected Speech

By:  Erica Shelley Nelson and Sarah Burke

In Barnes v. City of Charlack, a federal district court in Missouri dismissed two police officer’s claims that they were retaliated against for speaking out against the police chief. The district court ruled that the officer’s had spoken in their capacity as public employees rather than private citizens and had no First Amendment claims.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]