Lawsuit Alleges MPD Failed to Make Reasonable Accommodations for Officers
Four former police officers with more than 80 years of combined service with the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPD) today filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging the department’s failure to meet its legal obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“These officers have eighty-five years of combined service to MPD and the people of the District and they deserve to be treated fairly,” said Ellen Eardley, a partner at the civil rights law firm Mehri & Skalet, PLLC. “MPD unfairly pushed these officers out, even if they were just weeks from full recovery or regular retirement.”
“This lawsuit alleges that MPD violates the ADA by not engaging in a fair and interactive process with police officers who develop disabilities while employed by MPD and that it fails to consider the reasonable accommodation of reassignment for police officers,” said Eve Hill, a partner at the law firm Brown Goldstein & Levy, LLP. “Instead, MPD imposes a blanket rule and forces all such officers to retire early.”
The class action lawsuit is on behalf of current and former MPD police officers since December 9, 2014, who developed a physical or mental disability and were, or were perceived to be, unable to perform all the functions of their regular positions, and who were not considered for reassignment, job restructuring, or extended leave as reasonable accommodations.
The named plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Steve Pappas, Tawana Lindsay, Nichole Mathies, and Malachi Malik are former officers who developed health ailments ranging from congestive heart failure to long term foot and ankle injuries that restricted their physical activity. The lawsuit further alleges that that MPD violates the ADA by engaging in intrusive medical inquiries, requiring police officers to submit medical records or submit to medical examination for conditions or impairments that are not job-related.