Former New York Correctional Officer Can Bring Disability Discrimination Claim to Trial

By Reba Weiss and Brennen Johnson

Disability-Discrimination-120x120In Sherman v. County of Suffolk, a U.S. District Court determined that a former correctional officer presented legitimate allegations that the County of Suffolk, New York, discriminated against him based on his disability. In his lawsuit, the former officer alleged that the County discriminated against him based on a leg injury he sustained during training as a recruit. The County then filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that there was no evidence to prove that discrimination was the reason that the former officer lost his job. Although the County convinced the Court that no medical evidence could support an inference that the Officer actually suffered from a disability, the Court concluded that reliable evidence suggested that the County still perceived him as disabled and fired him because of that perception.

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City Improperly Relied on Former Officer’s History of Mental Illness Rather than Her Current Mental Health Status to Reject Her Application

By Mitchell Riese and Mitchel Wilson

possible threatIn Nelson v. City of New York, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied the City’s motion for summary judgment and permitted the plaintiff’s disability discrimination claim to go to trial. The Court reasoned that there was no clear evidence that the former officer could not perform the essential functions of the job and that the issue was proper for trial.

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Vet with PTSD May Bring Disability Discrimination Claim Under the Rehab Act for Not Being Hired by Border Patrol

By Mitchell Riese and Mitchel Wilson

PTSDIn Maish v. Napalitano, U. S. District Court for the Western District of Washington denied the Border Patrol’s motion for summary judgment and permitted a Border Patrol applicant’s disability discrimination claims to go to trial. The Court concluded the applicant, Maish, had a viable claim under the federal Rehabilitation Act for disability discrimination when the Border Patrol failed to hire Maish after learning of his mental illness.

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Dispatcher with Plausible Disability Who Offers Little to No Evidence to Establish She is Disabled is Denied Trial for ADA Claim

By Mitchell Riese and Mitchel Wilson

bonesIn Felkins v. City of Lakewood, the U.S District Court of Colorado addressed cross motions for summary judgment and granted defendant’s motion, thereby dismissing plaintiff’s case.  The Court ruled that she did not establish that she was disabled.

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Lieutenant Suffering from On-the-Job Knee Injury May Bring Claim to Trial where it is Unclear if Patrolling is an Essential Function of his Position

By Mitchell Riese and Mitchel Wilson

DisabilityDiscrim2wheelchairIn DeStefano v. City of Philadelphia, the Court dismissed cross motions for summary judgment, concluding that Orlando DeStefano’s disability discrimination claims under the federal Rehabilitation Act may go to trial for a knee injury when the issue is whether patrolling is part of a lieutenant’s essential functions.

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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…]

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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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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