$1.5 Million Judgment Upheld in LAPD Disability Discrimination Lawsuit
June 8, 2011
In recent news that our Fullerton, California labor and employment attorneys have been following, the City of Los Angeles lost a disability discrimination lawsuit, after a Court of Appeal upheld a $1.5 million judgment against the city, for failing to grant an officer of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Rory Cuiellette, reasonable accommodation, after he was disabled by a job injury.
According to the lawsuit, after Cuiellette was injured, a worker's compensation proceeding gave him a 100% permanent disability rating. Cuiellette was allowed to resume work by his doctor, as long as he worked in a position of light-duty, with administrative work only--a position typically reserved for accommodating disabled officers. After five days working as a permanent light-duty desk, the LAPD realized that Cuiellette had been granted the 100% disability rating by workman's compensation, at which point his employment was terminated and he was told to go home.
Cuiellette then filed a lawsuit against the City, claiming disability discrimination and failure to reasonably accommodate an employee--a violation of the FEHA, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, among other employment claims.
In a recent news release, our Riverside employment attorneys learned that a jury awarded Cuiellette $1,571,500, and after three different appeals, the court reaffirmed the jury award in Cuiellette's favor--rejecting the City's stance that he was unable to perform the duties of a police officer with or without reasonable accommodations. Substantial evidence also supported the court's finding that the City of Los Angeles violated the FEHA when it sent Cuiellette home based on the 100% disability rating, and when it failed to reasonably accommodate the officer in his light-duty assignment.
In Buena Park, Costa Mesa, and Garden Grove, California, contact Howard Law, PC today.
Court of Appeal Upholds Disability Bias Verdict for LAPD Officer, Metropolitan News-Enterprise, April 25, 2011
Cuielette v. City of L.A., Justia.com
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