Ninth Circuit Rejects San Francisco County’s BFOQ Defense for Policy Excluding Male Corrections Officers from Supervising Female Inmates

By Erica Shelley Nelson

prison (1)In Anderson v. City & Cnty. of San Francisco, the Ninth Circuit reversed the granting of summary judgment to the San Francisco County on claims of sex discrimination, in its jail staffing policies. The court held that the County was unable to meet its burden in demonstrating that it was entitled to a “bona fide occupational qualification” (BFOQ) defense for a policy that excluded male corrections deputies from supervising female inmates.

[Read more…]

Demotion of North Carolina Female Detention Officer for Violation of Unwritten Policy Forbidding Presence of Opposite Sex While Inmates Shower

By Kasey Burton

Unwritten-Rules-HeaderIn Gethers v. Harrison, the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina held that a sheriff’s office did not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of gender when it demoted a female detention officer. The female officer refused to leave the bathroom area while a male inmate was showering. Two other male officers were present, and the inmate was no longer agitated or presenting any sort of threat.  Consequently, the female officer’s presence was determined unnecessary and inappropriate.  During the course of the investigation following the demotion, the Sheriff concluded that Gethers was not truthful and subsequently terminated her on that basis.

[Read more…]

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ComplaintIn Mercer v. Cook County, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, (in an unpublished opinion) upheld the trial court’s decision to dismiss Corrections Sergeant Pamela Mercer’s claims of Gender Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment.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.

[Read more…]

Fifth Circuit Holds that Problem Dallas County Juvenile Officer Not Protected from Termination

By David Worley

TerminationIn Stokes v. Dallas County Juvenile Dep’t, 20, WH Cases 2d 327 (5th Cir. 2013) the Fifth Circuit Federal Court  of Appeals upheld summary judgment on retaliation claims under both Title VII and the FMLA when the plaintiff could indicate no connection between her termination and the activities protected by both those statutes. Further the employer provided substantial evidence supporting the termination of the plaintiff, including numerous instances of poor performance that resulted in discipline. Although the plaintiff could make a prima facie case regarding the FMLA claim (but not the Title VII claim), the court nevertheless found summary judgement was proper when no reasonable person could find that discrimination had occurred.  [Read more…]

Female Officer Defeats the Philadelphia PD’s Motion to Dismiss by “Sufficiently Alleged Severe and Regular Acts of Harassment” Including being Called “Spankasaurus”

By Anthony Rice

Name CallingIn Salvato v. Smith, the court denied the City’s motion to dismiss a female police officer’s harassment claim. The court found the Officer successfully alleged her superior officers’ behavior was “sufficiently severe or pervasive” enough to alter the conditions of her employment. The court found the Officer’s Complaint was brimming with allegations regarding the hostile conduct she suffered, including: [Read more…]

Same-Sex Gender Discrimination Equally Unlawful: Court Denies Female Police Chief’s Motion to Dismiss a Gender Discrimination Claim Filed by Her Subordinate Female Officer Over Her “Chick Cop” Remarks

By Anthony Rice

LawIn Parrott v. Krasicky, the court denied a female police chief’s motion to dismiss a female police officer’s gender discrimination claim based on a hostile work environment.

[Read more…]

Pregnant Paramedic can Bring Retaliation Complaint for Validly Claiming a Hostile Work Environment from Taunts when Her Baby Bump Prevented Her from Adhering to Uniform Policy

By Mitchel Wilson

no pregnancyIn Mocic v. Sumner County Emergency Medical Service, 117 FEP Cases 1005 (M.D. Tenn. 2013), a Federal District Court dismissed two of a discharged Tennessee paramedic’s claims, but allowed her claims for sexual harassment and retaliation to proceed to trial.  Both of her Title VII claims fail because there wasn’t any actual harm suffered just the appearance of harm.  Leading up to her discharge her employer and supervisor taunted her daily, would kick her chair, and tease her about her poorly fitting uniform as her pregnancy progressed.  Ultimately she filed a complaint with the EEOC and was fired soon after; her employer asserts that she was discharged because of her inability to lift overweight patients after a shoulder injury.

[Read more…]

Female Officer Told That Her Husband Was Not “Taking Care of Her in Bed” Presents Valid Sexual Harassment Claim but Retaliatory Discharge Claim Dismissed

By Mitchel Wilson

The Federal 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, in Desarduoin v. City of Rochester, 117 FEP Cases 778 (2d Cir. 2013) reestablished a fired female police security officer’s sexual harassment/discrimination claim against the City of Rochester, New York under Title VII, while affirming the dismissal of her retaliation and state law claims.  The court concluded the lower court erred in granting summary judgment on the employee’s gender discrimination claim when she alleged her supervisor made unsolicited sexual advances from May to July of 2007, but correctly dismissed her retaliation and state law claims. The employer was able to defeat her retaliation claim when it showed that it acted for a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason, when it fired her for secretly recording fellow officers, a felony and violation of department policy.

[Read more…]

“No Harm, No Foul” is not a Defense for a Failure to Promote Claim When Corrective Action Took Place After the Lawsuit was Filed, Court Holds.

By David Worley

In Kosek v. Luzerne County (116 FEP Cases 1244 (M.D. Pa. 2012)), the court denied the County’s summary judgment motion concerning a discrimination lawsuit brought by a Corrections Counselor. The Officer claimed that the  County had failed to promote the most qualified candidate for discriminatory reasons, and, although later corrected its action, did so only after the Correction Counselor had filed a grievance and separate lawsuit.  

[Read more…]