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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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New Jersey Officers Retaliatory Transfer Charge Following Quota Complaints Fail When Court Finds Poor Performance, Not Complaints, Led to Transfer

By: Jim Cline & Harrison Owens

In Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 1, et al. v. City of Camden, et al., a New Jersey District Court dismissed several officers’ claims that they had been retaliated against, and one officer’s claim that his FMLA rights had been denied by the City. In their complaint, the officers claimed that several defendants had retaliated against them or interfered with their FMLA rights after they spoke out against a “directed patrol” policy. The District Court dismissed all of their claims because the officers failed to show that their poor performance under the policy was not the primary reason for their transfers. The Court also found that there was no evidence that the defendants denied one of the officers his rights under the FMLA or harmed him.

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Baltimore Corrections Officer Could Bring Claim For Violation Of ADA When Wrongfully Demoted Because Of His Inflammatory Disease

By: Jim Cline & Harrison Owens

In Allen v. Baltimore County, a Maryland District Court allowed a corrections officer to continue with his claim for disability discrimination under the ADA against his employer.  In his complaint, the officer claimed that his employer had caused him to sign a demotion agreement and terminated him because he suffered from an inflammatory disease.  The District Court found that the officer could have performed his job if his employer had accommodated his disability, such as by allowing him time to take his medication or giving him light duty.

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Colorado Firefighter Did Not Have ADA Claim Because His Medical Limitations Posed a “Direct Threat” To Public Health And Safety.

By: Jim Cline & Harrison Owens

In Bailey v. City of Englewood, a Colorado District Court dismissed the claims of a former firefighter/paramedic that he had been wrongfully discharged and that the City had failed to accommodate his disability. In his complaint, the firefighter/paramedic claimed that his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had been violated because he was fired following back surgery. The City argued that his depression, which occurred after his surgery, caused him to be a direct threat to those he served and unable to perform his essential job functions. The District Court agreed with the City, and dismissed the firefighter/paramedic’s case.

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Maine Police Chief With Alcoholism Had Valid Claims Of Wrongful Termination under the ADA And Interference With His FMLA Rights

By Reba Weiss and Harrison Owen

In Young v. Town of Bar Harbor, a District Court found that a former police chief was able to bring a claim against the Town of Bar Harbor for violating his claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and FMLA. In his complaint, the police chief alleged that he had been wrongfully discharged after disclosing his alcoholism, which was perceived as a disability, and that the Town had failed to reasonably accommodate him and violated his FMLA rights. The District Court found that the police chief had a valid claim for wrongful discharge due to a perceived disability and interference with his FMLA rights, but dismissed his other claims.

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Nevada County Detention Worker Could Not Sustain ADA Claim Because His Anxiety Prevented Him From Attending to Job Duties

By Reba Weiss and Harrison Owen 

In Lane v. Clark County, a U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a Nevada District Court’s dismissal of a former juvenile detention center cook’s claim that he had been discriminated against in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In his complaint, the cook claimed that he had been terminated due to his anxiety in violation of the ADA. The district court found that the anxiety prevented him from performing the essential functions of his job, and the Court of Appeals agreed. Therefore, his claim for violation of the ADA was dismissed.

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