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Rapides Parish Sheriff reportedly settles discrimination case for $187,500
RAPIDES PARISH - The Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office (RPSO) reprtedly settled a federal discrimination lawsuit for $187,500, according to a Monday news release from the law office of Most & Associates.
The attorneys say a lawsuit was brought by the late Deputy Jerry McKinney, a former Army officer and a twenty-year veteran of RPSO, who suffered a stroke in late 2017.
After his stroke, Most & Associates says, Deputy McKinney was able to return to work, but did not pass his firearm recertification and RPSO moved him to a twelve-hour shift at the jail that did not require firearm certification.
But when those twelve-hour shifts caused health problems, Deputy McKinney's doctor recommended that his schedule be modified to eight-hour shifts.
The attorneys say though Warden Batiste agreed to move Deputy McKinney to an eight-hour job in the kitchen, when RPSO higher-ups found out, things changed and Deputy McKinney was ordered to return to a twelve-hour position.
Attorneys say McKinney was told that if he could not work twelve hours, he “should retire.”
When McKinney declined to retire and asked to be put in any eight-hour position anywhere in the sheriff’s office, RPSO fired him.
McKinney lost his job five days before Christmas, after two decades of service.
Deputy McKinney sued, alleging that his termination was a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
In the course of the lawsuit, it was discovered that RPSO was out of compliance with the ADA. The office did not have an ADA coordinator, did not conduct any ADA training, and described employees requesting accommodations as “complainers,” according to attorneys.
Sadly, Deputy McKinney passed away while his case was ongoing, but his case was so strong that in the few days before trial, the Sheriff's Office agreed to pay his widow $187,500 as a settlement.
The McKinneys are represented by a legal team made up of Kerry Murphy Law and Most & Associates.
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