Police Officer with Disciplinary Record Able to Sue for Harassment based on National Origin

By Kasey Burton

discriminating outsiderIn Morshed v County of Lake, the Court held that years of slurs and constant denigration were enough to allow Police Officer Morshed to pursue a national origin harassment claim even though he lost no pay or benefits.

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Sergeant’s Inaction Found to be Sufficient to Make Prima Facie Harassment Claims against Him

By Oliver Enquist

two 3d humans look at human with megaphoneIn Ellis v. Houston, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of five African American corrections officers who brought claims against five of their supervisors for race based harassment and retaliation.  The appellate court ruled that the officers’ claims stated a cause of action and reversed a district court ruling that had dismissed all the allegations. [Read more...]

A Whiteout in Dallas Leads to a Police Lieutenant Unsuccessful Discrimination Claim against the City

By Anthony R

BlizzardIn Waters v. City of Dallas, the Fifth Ciruit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling dismissing a Dallas Police Lieutenant’s racial discrimination claim.

Marlon Waters, an African-American male, was employed as a lieutenant by the Dallas Police Department (DPD). Waters’ discrimination claim resulted from circumstances surrounding the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. Over the course of the NBA All-Star event, a snow storm hit Dallas. Waters, one of the designated watch commanders for the event, reacted by allowing his subordinates to report to work early. However, because of budgetary constraints, DPD commanders (Watson included) were ordered to minimize overtime expenditures.

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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...]

St. Louis PD Orders to “Bring Color to the Academy” Results in a Trial-Worthy Section 1983 Conspiracy Claim by White Officer Passed Over for Academy Assistant Director Appointment

By Anthony Rice

Promotion timeIn Bonenberger v. St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Plaintiff David Bonenberger, who is white, claims that two lieutenants conspired to promote another candidate over him based on her race. On summary judgment, the court viewed the evidence in a light most favorable to Bonenberger and found that a jury could reasonably conclude two lieutenants conspired against him, and therefore concluded the case could go to trial.

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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...]

DC Court of Appeals Concluded that a Two-Step Demotion to Manipulate a Female African-American Police Commander to Retire or Transfer is Plausible Theory for Trial

By Mitchel Wilson

Discrimination 3In Primas v. District of Columbia, the D.C. Court of Appeals overruled the lower trial court for dismissing a female, African-American Police Commander claims of sex and race discrimination, and remanded them for trial. The Court ruled that the Plaintiff’s complex theories on a manipulated retirement had sufficient merit to survive a summary judgment motion [Read more...]

White Police Officer’s Title VII Race Discrimination Claim Fails when He is denied Promotion after City of Buffalo Implemented New Aptitude Test Designed to Eliminate Racial Bias

By David Worley

DismissedIn Maraschiello v. City of Buffalo Police Dep’t, 117 FEP Cases 665 (2d Cir. 2013), the Federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that summary judgment was proper when a white Buffalo Police captain was denied a promotion after he refused to take the new aptitude test, which he claimed was implemented to give an unfair advantage to minorities.  The court found that because the employer instituted the new aptitude test in a racially neutral manner, and the new test was designed to eliminate previous racial bias, the new test could not be considered to have an adverse racial impact. [Read more...]

Retaliation Claim Viable: Hispanic Deputy Sheriff’s Nationality Questioned Immediately After Filing a Workplace Complaint

By Kate Acheson

The Colorado District Court refused to dismiss Hispanic Deputy Sheriff Theresa Garcia’s retaliation, discrimination, and common law civil conspiracy claims in Garcia v. Arapahoe Cnty. Sheriff’s Office, finding that these claims concerned genuine issues of material fact and could not be summarily dismissed. [Read more...]

Polish not Pollock: Native Polish Officer Successfully Brings Discrimination Claims

By Mitchel Wilson

In Zasada v. City of Englewood, 117 FEP Cases 1454 (2013), the court denied the City’s motion to dismiss Zasada’s claim of a hostile work environment because of his national origin, claim of discrimination based on national origin, and equal protection claims when he was referred to in a derogatory manner and experienced an adverse employment action. [Read more...]