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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DC Court of Appeals Holds Failure to Award Park Officer Paid-Leave for Jobs Well Done, is Not Retaliation

By Mitchel Wilson

Good JobIn Bridgeforth v. Jewell, the court granted the United States Park Service, summary judgment because police officer Wayne Bridgeforth’s claims of retaliation were too speculative for trial. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals found insufficient evidence linking the denial of Bridgeforth’s time off award with his “protected activity” of having filed a discrimination claim.

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Capitol Police Officer’s FMLA Interference and Retaliation Claims Dismissed

By David Worley

EvidenceA District of Columbia federal court dismissed a Capitol Police Officer’s FMLA interference and retaliation claims in Gordon v. U.S. Capitol Police, 20 WH Cases2d 453 (D.D.C. 2013), when she could provide no evidence that her employer denied her FMLA benefits (interference) and no evidence that she experienced and adverse employment action because of her use of her FMLA rights (retaliation).  Despite an angry supervisor’s response to her request, the court found insufficient evidence of an “adverse action.”

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