The City of Florence (“Florence” or “the City”) recently entered into a proposed consent decree, pending court approval, to resolve a discrimination lawsuit the Justice Department filed regarding two City female police officers. The lawsuit, filed last month, alleges both officers were discriminated against based on pregnancy and disability grounds pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). According to the complaint, Florence female police officers Lyndi Trischler and Samantha Riley requested light duty in 2014 when both were unable to perform their duties as patrol officers due to their pregnancies. Officer Trischler also suffered from complications resulting from a diagnosed high-risk pregnancy and requested light duty as a reasonable accommodation.
Florence’s light duty policy at the time of Ms. Trischler’s and Ms. Riley’s requests was limited to employees with on-the-job injuries only. The City also required that employees with non-work related illnesses, injuries, or conditions provide information that establishes they have “no restrictions” prior to returning to work. Florence denied both officers’ requests and required them to take leave instead.
This was the first lawsuit filed by the Justice Department challenging an entity’s light duty policy following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in last year’s Young v. UPS case. In Young, UPS had a similar ‘employees injured on the job’ policy as Florence. Peggy Young was a UPS pickup and Continue reading