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ARTICLE ID 195776

$________ – EMPLOYMENT LAW – FAILURE TO ACCOMMODATE POLICE OFFICER'S MENTAL DISABILITY – DISCRIMINATION – WRONGFUL TERMINATION – LOSS OF PENSION.

New London County, CT

In this matter, the plaintiff alleged that he was discriminated against and terminated from his employment as a police officer, due to his mental disability. The defendant denied the allegations.

The 49-year-old male plaintiff was a police officer with the defendant’s police department for almost 17 years. The defendant police department required the plaintiff to undergo a mental fitness for duty examination by the defendant’s psychiatrist, following a complaint that the plaintiff was behaving inappropriately toward women. The defendant’s doctor determined that the plaintiff was suffering from a mental disability and could not continue to serve as a police officer. The plaintiff underwent his own examination with another psychiatrist who disagreed with the department’s findings. The plaintiff’s psychiatrist diagnosed the plaintiff with obsessive compulsive disorder, and the plaintiff sought accommodates under state law. The defendant failed to provide the accommodations. The plaintiff sought to have a third tie-breaker evaluation of his fitness for duty, which the defendant refused without a precondition that the plaintiff sign a general waiver and release prior to the examination. The plaintiff brought suit under the state’s fair employment practices act, alleging that the defendant discriminated against the plaintiff based upon his mental disability. The plaintiff sought damages, which included monies to compensate him for the loss of pension, benefits, and punitive damages.

The defendant denied the allegations and disputed that there was any discrimination. The defendant proceeded on a direct threat defense. Basically, the defendant argued that the plaintiff was unfit to be a police officer and his continued employment when he was deemed unfit for duty would be a threat to safety of himself and others.

The matter proceeded to trial over a period of nine days. During the trial, before the jury was charged, the parties reached an agreement to resolve the plaintiff’s claims for the sum of $________. The settlement consists of a non-qualified assignment that will essentially replace the plaintiff’s lost pension over the next 20 years, plus payment of the plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees.

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