IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW-NYA
Washington, DC 20530

Plaintiff,

v.

BALTIMORE COUNTY, MARYLAND

Serve:
Michael E. Field, Esq.,
County Attorney
Old Courthouse, 2nd floor,
400 Washington Ave.
Towson, MD 21204

Defendant.

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Case No.:

Content for class "clearcol" Goes Here

    COMPLAINT

                 Plaintiff, the United States of America, states and alleges, upon information and belief:

  1.   This action is brought on behalf of the United States against Baltimore County, Maryland, to enforce the statutory and regulatory provisions of Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12111, et seq., and § 12203 et seq., which incorporate, through 42 U.S.C. §§ 12117 and 12203, the powers, remedies, and procedures set forth in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, including in 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5.
  2. Jurisdiction and Venue

  3.   This Court has jurisdiction of the action under 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-5(f) and 2000e-6, and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345. 
  4.   This Court has authority to grant a declaratory judgment pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2201 (and related relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2202), and authority to grant equitable relief and monetary damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12117.
  5.   Venue is proper in this district under 28 U.S.C. § 1391.
  6. Parties

  7.   Plaintiff is the United States of America.
  8.   Defendant is Baltimore County, Maryland.  Baltimore County is a political subdivision of the State of Maryland.
  9.   Defendant is a person within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12111(7) and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(a).
  10.   Defendant is an employer within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12111(5) and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(b).
  11.   Defendant is a covered entity within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12111(2) and 29 C.F.R. § 1630.2.
  12. Facts

    General Allegations

  13.   Starting in or about 2006, Defendant issued orders compelling Defendant employees [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED], and [REDACTED] to submit to medical examinations and disability-related inquiries that were not job-related and consistent with business necessity, including (but not limited to) improperly compelling these employees to disclose past medical history and medical records. At the time the orders to submit to medical examinations and disability-related inquiries were issued, these employees had worked for Defendant for periods ranging from eleven (11) to twenty-five (25) years.
  14.   On information and belief, Defendant asked each of the employees identified in Paragraph 10 to release all medical information from health care providers (including their personal and treating physicians) to Defendant’s medical examiners.  The releases Defendant provided sought medical information unrelated to the employees’ present ability to perform their job duties and resulted in the disclosure of sensitive health-related information.
  15.   Defendant required certain employees identified in Paragraph 10 to submit to medical examinations and disability-related inquiries that were improperly timed-i.e., while they were undergoing medical treatment and not ready to return to work or at a point in time substantially after a past medical incident when they were having no present difficulty performing their job duties.
  16.   Defendant required each of the employees identified in Paragraph 10 to submit to medical examinations and disability-related inquiries that were overbroad and wholly unrelated to the medical conditions for which the County was purportedly evaluating the employees’ fitness for duty.
  17.   The employees identified in Paragraph 10 ultimately complied with the orders and submitted to the medical examinations and disability-related inquiries.  Failure to obey such orders by Defendant would have subjected them to disciplinary measures, up to and including termination.
  18.   Defendant routinely provides medical information and/or documents obtained in an employee’s workers’ compensation claim to the doctor performing the ordered medical examinations.  Such disclosures are often unnecessary and may violate the employee’s confidentiality.
  19.   When [REDACTED], the then-Director of Defendant’s Police Department’s Personnel Section, attempted to discuss these issues with his superiors and raised concerns that Defendant’s actions violated the ADA, Defendant retaliated against [REDACTED]. 
  20.   In or around June 2010, Defendant also excluded at least two otherwise qualified applicants for Emergency Medical Technician (“EMT”) job vacancies because they have insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (Type I Diabetes) without showing that this policy and practice is job-related and consistent with business necessity.
  21. Individual Allegations

    County Law Enforcement Employees

    [REDACTED]
  22.   [REDACTED] began employment with Defendant as a police officer on or about July 31, 1982. 
  23.   Since at least 2002, [REDACTED] has worked as a detective with the Warrant Apprehension Task Force. 
  24.   On or about December 26, 2006, while attempting to subdue a suspect, [REDACTED] sustained injuries, including to his neck and shoulder.  He resumed full duty status after several days on light duty.
  25.   On May 29, 2007, Defendant ordered [REDACTED] to report to Dr. [REDACTED] for a medical examination, even though [REDACTED] had no difficulties performing his duties.  Enclosed with this order was a medical release that [REDACTED] was instructed to submit to his personal doctor(s) “[t]o release [to Dr. [REDACTED]] all medical information regarding [ ] care, treatment, evaluation, testing, and/or consultation. . . .”  [REDACTED] sought an explanation for the order but received none.  He reported to Dr. [REDACTED] on June 19, 2007, for the medical evaluation. 
  26.   On that date, Dr. [REDACTED] asked [REDACTED] to describe his medical history “from birth,” warning [REDACTED] that the examination was “all or nothing.”  When [REDACTED] tried to explain that he had no difficulty performing his duties, Dr. [REDACTED] ended the session.
  27.   On June 27, 2007, Defendant ordered [REDACTED] to report again to Dr. [REDACTED].
  28.   During that medical examination, which occurred on July 24, 2007, Dr. [REDACTED] questioned [REDACTED] on subjects including, but not limited to, his marital background; his children; his alcohol and prescription drug usage; a childhood surgery; an eye injury seventeen (17) years prior; and a tinnitus evaluation ten (10) years prior.  Dr. [REDACTED] also conducted a medical examination beyond the scope of the condition for which [REDACTED] was being evaluated, so extensive that the report included commentary regarding “normal muscle development and bulk over all four extremities” and confirming that he was not jaundiced.
  29.   In his report of August 6, 2007, Dr. [REDACTED] stated that he reviewed “approximately 200 pages of medical records, the earliest ones dating from 5/29/78. . . .”  On information and belief, those documents included workers’ compensation claim records provided to Dr. [REDACTED] by Defendant.
  30.   [REDACTED] filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on July 13, 2007, alleging that he had been subjected to unwarranted medical examinations and disclosure of medical records without a legitimate, job-related basis.
  31.   On July 24, 2008, the EEOC issued a Letter of Determination finding that Defendant violated the ADA.
  32.   On September 11, 2008, the EEOC notified Defendant that conciliation had failed and subsequently referred the charge to the Department of Justice (“Department”).
  33. [REDACTED]
  34.   [REDACTED] began employment with Defendant as a police officer on or about April 28, 1984.  In 1993, [REDACTED] obtained a law degree.  Thereafter, he worked for Defendant as an attorney assigned to police department matters.  In 2000, he returned to the police force as a sergeant.
  35.   On July 22, 2004, [REDACTED] had a hypertensive crisis and cerebrovascular accident.  He was hospitalized and resumed his duties on or about September 8, 2004.
  36.   In or about December 2005, Defendant ordered [REDACTED] to report for a medical examination with Dr. [REDACTED].
  37.   During [REDACTED]’s medical examination, which occurred on January 11, 2006, Dr. [REDACTED] questioned [REDACTED] on subjects including, but not limited to, his marital background; his use of tobacco; his alcohol, coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drink drinking habits; his prescription drug usage; and a hernia repair at age 14.  Dr. [REDACTED] also conducted a medical examination beyond the scope of the condition for which [REDACTED] was being evaluated, so extensive that it included a testicular examination.
  38.   In his February 17, 2006, report, Dr. [REDACTED] concluded that [REDACTED] presented as “not a very promising picture for a 44-year-old individual. . . .”  Dr. [REDACTED] concluded that [REDACTED] was not able to perform his job duties without restrictions.
  39.   On or about March 22, 2006, Defendant placed [REDACTED] on sick leave and sent him an “Options letter” directing him to “[a]pply for and be granted a disability retirement if the injury/illness is disabling and permanent;” exit on a service retirement; request and receive approval for a medical leave of absence; request and be accepted for a transfer to a position with Defendant for which he was “qualified and able to perform;” or voluntarily resign.  Defendant set a deadline of April 15, 2006, for [REDACTED] to select an option.
  40.   [REDACTED] disputed Dr. [REDACTED]’s conclusions, and on or about October 4, 2006, Defendant’s Medical Review Board determined that [REDACTED] was not “mentally or physically incapacitated for the further performance of duty” and that his condition “does not result in permanent physical disability” preventing him from the performance of his duties. 
  41.   [REDACTED] filed his EEOC charge on July 13, 2007, alleging that he had been subjected to, among other things, unwarranted medical examinations and disclosure of his medical records without a legitimate, job-related basis, in violation of the ADA. 
  42.   On August 22, 2008, the EEOC issued a Letter of Determination finding reasonable cause to believe that Defendant violated the ADA as to unequal terms and conditions of employment.
  43.   On September 22, 2008, the EEOC notified Defendant that conciliation had failed and subsequently referred the charge to the Department.
  44. [REDACTED]
  45.   [REDACTED] began employment with Defendant as a police officer on or about March 7, 1987.
  46.   On or about July 18, 2004, [REDACTED] had a seizure episode.  He was hospitalized and released fewer than 48 hours later.  [REDACTED] has had no further seizure episodes.
  47.   [REDACTED] continued to work without medical scrutiny until August 31, 2006, when his 2004 episode was discussed at a fellow police officer’s termination hearing. 
  48.   The next day, on September 1, 2006, Defendant ordered [REDACTED] to report to Dr. [REDACTED] for a medical examination.  In conjunction with this order, Defendant provided [REDACTED] with a medical release to be provided to his personal doctor(s) “[t]o release [to Dr. [REDACTED]] all medical information regarding [ ] care, treatment, evaluation, testing, and/or consultation. . . .”
  49.   During the medical examination, which occurred on September 8, 2006, Dr. [REDACTED] questioned [REDACTED] on subjects including, but not limited to, his marital background; his children; his use of tobacco; his alcohol, coffee, tea, and soda drinking habits; his prescription drug usage; a childhood tonsillectomy; and a possible ruptured spleen over a decade earlier due to a fall while playing basketball.  Dr. [REDACTED] also conducted a medical examination beyond the scope of the condition for which [REDACTED] was being evaluated, so extensive that it included palpation of his thyroid gland, abdomen, liver, and spleen.
  50.   Thereafter, Dr. [REDACTED] issued a report finding that “it does not appear that there is reason to prevent him from continuing to work in his present assignment.”  Nonetheless, Dr. [REDACTED] recommended an electroencephalogram (“EEG”) to ascertain whether [REDACTED] had abnormal EEG results. 
  51.   On October 5, 2006, [REDACTED] was ordered to report for an EEG.  In conjunction with this order, Defendant provided [REDACTED] with a medical release to be provided to his personal doctor(s).  On information and belief, that document required him to release to Dr. [REDACTED] all medical information regarding his prior care, treatment, evaluation, testing, and/or consultation by other health care providers. 
  52.   Following the order to report for the EEG, [REDACTED] filed an EEOC charge on January 19, 2007, alleging that he was subjected to unwarranted medical examinations, disclosure of his medical records, and discrimination, in violation of the ADA.
  53.   On August 23, 2007, the EEOC issued a Letter of Determination finding reasonable cause to believe Defendant violated the ADA as to unequal terms and conditions of employment.
  54.   On September 17, 2007, the EEOC notified Defendant that conciliation had failed and subsequently referred the charge to the Department.
  55. County Fire/EMT Employees

    [REDACTED]
  56.   [REDACTED] began employment with Defendant as a firefighter in 1981.
  57.   In 1993, [REDACTED] became a Fire Apparatus Driver/Operator, and he remained in that position until his involuntary retirement in October 2006.
  58.   In or about December 2005, [REDACTED] was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. 
  59.   In June 2006, [REDACTED] took leave to undergo intensive treatment for his medical condition, including a stem cell transplant.
  60.   On July 3, 2006, Defendant ordered [REDACTED] to report on August 9, 2006, to Dr. [REDACTED] for a medical examination.  In conjunction with this order, Defendant directed [REDACTED] to take to his medical appointment “any medical records, notes, doctors [sic] phone number, etc., for the evaluating doctor’s review.”  Defendant provided [REDACTED] with a medical release to be provided, in turn, to his personal doctor(s) that, on information and belief, required the release of all of [REDACTED]’s prior medical information to Defendant’s medical examiners.
  61.   During the August 9, 2006, medical examination, Dr. [REDACTED] questioned [REDACTED] on subjects including, but not limited to, his marital background; his children, his use of tobacco; his alcohol, coffee, tea, and soda drinking habits; his prescription drug usage; a childhood tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy; and the removal of a bone spur from his left fifth toe in his twenties.  Dr. [REDACTED] also conducted a medical examination beyond the scope of the condition for which [REDACTED] was being evaluated, so extensive that it included a confirmation of the lack of nail fungus on all 10 toe nails.
  62.   In his report on that medical examination, Dr. [REDACTED] concluded [REDACTED] was “unable to perform all the job related functions of a fire apparatus driver/operator without restrictions.”  Dr. [REDACTED] added that, assuming the planned stem cell transplant was successful, and following the associated recovery period, [REDACTED] “could certainly return to work and perform the unrestricted duties associated with the position of fire apparatus driver/operator.”
  63.   Nonetheless, on August 30, 2006, [REDACTED] received a hand-delivered “Options letter” from Defendant.
  64.   Stating that [REDACTED]’s “health related claims will not stabilize or improve in the near foreseeable future,” and that “the physician states that you are unable to perform the essential functions of your position even with reasonable accommodations,” the letter directed [REDACTED] to apply for and be granted retirement; request and be granted a transfer to a position for which he was qualified and able to perform; or resign.  [REDACTED] was given until September 12, 2006, to notify Defendant of his decision.
  65.   On September 6, 2006, [REDACTED] notified Defendant that he wished to continue his employment with Defendant’s Fire Department.
  66.   On September 6, 2006, [REDACTED]’s oncologist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital wrote to Defendant that [REDACTED] was undergoing treatment for lymphoma and was not expected to perform work of any kind before at least January 1, 2007.
  67.   On September 25, 2006, [REDACTED]’s oncologist sent a letter to Defendant stating that [REDACTED]’s treatment was not yet complete and recommending against further medical evaluations by Defendant before January 15, 2007.
  68.   On October 11, 2006, Defendant approved ordinary disability retirement for [REDACTED] without his consent, effective on that date.
  69.   On January 8, 2007, [REDACTED] died.  He is survived by his wife and their three children.
  70. [REDACTED]
  71.   [REDACTED] began employment with Defendant as an EMT in 1997. 
  72.   On May 12, 2007, she injured her neck, back, and shoulder areas while on the job and subsequently was placed on light duty.
  73.   In September 2007, Defendant ruled that her injury was not, after all, work-related, thus ending her light duty status and forcing her to use her sick leave.
  74.   [REDACTED] was scheduled to have surgery on February 1, 2008, to address her injury, but on January 24, 2008, she was ordered to report to Dr. [REDACTED] for a medical examination on January 30, 2008.  In conjunction with this order, Defendant provided [REDACTED] with a medical release to be provided, in turn, to her personal doctor(s) that, on information and belief, required the release of all of [REDACTED]’s prior medical information to Defendant’s medical examiners.
  75.   During the January 30, 2008, medical examination, Dr. [REDACTED] questioned [REDACTED] on subjects including, but not limited to, her marital background; her children; her use of tobacco; her alcohol, coffee, tea, and cola drinking habits; her prescription drug use; a finger fracture during her younger years; her age at the onset of menstruation; details regarding the birth of her children; skin rashes twelve years prior; a 1999 laceration of the upper lip; and a 2006 treatment with staples for a scalp laceration.  Dr. [REDACTED] also conducted a medical examination beyond the scope of the condition for which [REDACTED] was being evaluated, so extensive that it included observation of scratch marks on her back, based on which Dr. [REDACTED] stated: “[t]he appearance is very suggestive of … dermatitis.”
  76.   In his report of February 6, 2008, Dr. [REDACTED] stated he reviewed 250 pages of medical records on [REDACTED], dating to 1995, which was two years before she was hired.  Those documents included, but were not limited to, workers’ compensation claim records provided to Dr. [REDACTED] by Defendant.
  77.   In his report, Dr. [REDACTED] concluded that, among other things, he was not optimistic about the likelihood of [REDACTED]’s returning to work as an EMT in the foreseeable future.
  78.   On February 12, 2008, Defendant sent [REDACTED] an “Options letter” directing her to apply for and be granted retirement; request and be granted a transfer to another position with Defendant; or resign.  [REDACTED] was directed to choose among the three options presented by February 26, 2008.
  79.   On February 26, 2008, [REDACTED] replied that she was not willing to elect any of the options.  [REDACTED] noted that she had been subjected to a medical examination prematurely (before her scheduled surgery) and that she expected to be released to return to full duty status in the near future.
  80.   Nonetheless, on or about February 29, 2008, Defendant terminated [REDACTED] because of her failure to select an option.
  81.   Reversing course, Defendant then sent [REDACTED] a letter dated March 7, 2008, directing her to disregard the “Options letter” it had issued and to report to Dr. [REDACTED] on March 10, 2008, for a follow-up medical examination.
  82.   On March 10, 2008, Dr. [REDACTED] conducted another medical examination beyond the scope of the condition for which [REDACTED] was being evaluated.  Among other things, Dr. [REDACTED] documented [REDACTED]’s pulse rate and blood pressure, and reported on medications that [REDACTED] was taking for conditions unrelated to her shoulder surgery.
  83.   On March 21, 2008, the Workers’ Compensation Commission determined that [REDACTED]’s injury was work-related.
  84.   [REDACTED] underwent a further medical examination with Dr. [REDACTED] on June 3, 2008, during which he evaluated her pulse rate and took “repeated readings” of her blood pressure.
  85.   After a final medical examination on August 27, 2008, Dr. [REDACTED] released [REDACTED] to full duty.
  86.   [REDACTED] filed her EEOC Charge on December 19, 2008, alleging, among other things, discrimination based on her disability.
  87.   On July 30, 2010, the EEOC issued a Letter of Determination finding, among other things, that Defendant violated the ADA by subjecting [REDACTED] to unnecessary medical examinations and requests for medical history beyond the scope of her disability.  It also found reasonable cause to believe that Defendant violated the ADA by commingling confidential medical records in the personnel files of employees.
  88.   On August 19, 2010, the EEOC notified Defendant that conciliation had failed and on September 13, 2010, referred the charge to the Department.
  89. [REDACTED]
  90.   [REDACTED] began employment with Defendant on or about April 19, 1986, and she continues to work for Defendant as a paramedic/firefighter. 
  91.   In or about September 2006, [REDACTED] was diagnosed with breast cancer.
  92.   On or about October 11, 2006, she underwent a right breast lumpectomy which was followed by radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
  93.   On or about January 18, 2007, while recuperating from surgery, [REDACTED] was ordered by Defendant to report to Dr. [REDACTED] for a medical examination.
  94.   In conjunction with this order, Defendant required [REDACTED] to provide “any and all medical documentation (i.e., medical notes, names and phone numbers of other treating physicians, etc.) to Dr. [REDACTED],” and gave [REDACTED] a medical release to present, in turn, to her personal doctor(s) “[t]o release [to Dr. [REDACTED]] all medical information regarding [ ] care, treatment, evaluation, testing, and/or consultation. . . .”
  95.   Two examinations of [REDACTED], scheduled by Defendant for January 31, 2007, and February 14, 2007, were postponed.
  96.   On March 21, 2007, [REDACTED] reported to Dr. [REDACTED]’s office.  Dr. [REDACTED] then asked [REDACTED] to provide a complete medical history, dating from birth.  He also asked her to submit to a complete physical, to which she objected, requesting that the evaluation be limited to the issues surrounding her current medical condition.  Ultimately, Dr. [REDACTED] ended the examination and Defendant suspended [REDACTED] without pay for three weeks.
  97.   On March 28, 2007, [REDACTED] was ordered to return to a second medical examination scheduled for April 9, 2007. 
  98.   During the April 9, 2007, medical examination, Dr. [REDACTED] inquired about medical issues including [REDACTED]’s prior right arm injury, surgery, and rehabilitation (for which he previously evaluated her on September 28, 2005).
  99.   In his report, Dr. [REDACTED] noted his preference to “re-evaluate her around the second week of June 2007 and after the conclusion of the radiation therapy.”  He stated that she “will also have to arrange for certain tests through her treating physicians to allow for a valid workability evaluation concerning the position of paramedic/firefighter.”  Dr. [REDACTED] recommended that [REDACTED] have a “follow-up echocardiogram and preferably a treadmill exercise tolerance test to assess cardiac function and cardiovascular and effort tolerance.”  Further, he recommended that [REDACTED] receive a scan to “assess the current status of her bone density.”
  100.   On or about April 10, 2007, Defendant reinstated [REDACTED] for full duty following her suspension but imposed several conditions for her return, all enumerated in a settlement agreement between Defendant and [REDACTED].  These conditions included that she not pursue any reimbursement of moneys lost as a result of her no-pay status on the day she was suspended; forfeit 40 hours of leave in 2007 if any disciplinary infractions occurred in the six months following the agreement; agree to a transfer to be determined by the Fire Department; and relinquish the right to apply for a transfer for one year. 
  101.   In or about August 2007, Defendant ordered [REDACTED] to report for a medical examination.  Defendant insisted she undergo the three medical tests that Dr. [REDACTED] referenced in his report regarding the April 9, 2007, medical examination.
  102.   On October 3, 2007, [REDACTED] was notified to report to work the following day, even before Defendant received the results of all three medical tests recommended by Dr. [REDACTED].
  103.   On or about September 20, 2007, [REDACTED] filed a charge with the EEOC, alleging discrimination on the basis of disability and alleging she had been subjected to unwarranted medical examination, differing terms and conditions of employment, and retaliation.
  104.   On February 1, 2010, the EEOC issued a Letter of Determination finding that Defendant violated the ADA by, among other things, subjecting [REDACTED] to unnecessary medical examinations and requests for medical history beyond the scope of her disability.  Additionally, the EEOC found that Defendant retaliated against [REDACTED] by suspending her when she objected to illegal medical history disclosure.  Finally, it found that Defendant was in violation of commingling medical records in the personnel files of employees.
  105.   On March 24, 2010, the EEOC notified Defendant that conciliation had failed and referred the charge to the Department.
  106. County Civilian Employees

    [REDACTED]
  107.   [REDACTED] began employment with Defendant as a personnel analyst in Defendant’s Office of Human Resources on or about November 21, 1979.  In or about 1992 he was transferred to the Office of Personnel in Defendant’s Police Department, rising in or about 1995 to become its Director.
  108.   On or about April 28, 2005, [REDACTED] directed a memorandum to Major [REDACTED], his superior in the Human Resources Division.  In that document, [REDACTED] raised ADA-related concerns surrounding Defendant’s position on a particular police officer’s return to work following a health-related issue.
  109.   Beginning in 2005, [REDACTED] noticed an increase in complaints from police officers regarding the propriety of medical examinations performed by Dr. [REDACTED], and reported this to his supervisors.
  110.      On or about August 22, 2006, [REDACTED] directed a memorandum to Colonel [REDACTED] of the Human Services Bureau.  In that document, [REDACTED] noted that he completed a review of the confidential medical files of [REDACTED] and another officer, as ordered by the then-Chief of Police, [REDACTED].  [REDACTED] noted that these officers had returned to duty and were successfully performing the essential functions of their jobs.
  111.      On or about October 20, 2006, [REDACTED] directed a memorandum to Colonel [REDACTED].  In that document, [REDACTED] reiterated his concerns over Defendant’s treatment of its employees under the ADA.  [REDACTED] noted that Defendant’s Police Department did not have a program to properly identify or monitor the fitness for duty of its members.  He expressed his concerns about medical examinations that Defendant required only of employees who have a history of a medical condition or disability, in the absence of any evidence that they were incapable of performing their job duties.
  112.      In or about November 2006, [REDACTED] was called to a meeting with Chief [REDACTED] and Colonel [REDACTED].  In the meeting, Chief [REDACTED] instructed [REDACTED] that if he continued to document in written form his opinions regarding the ADA, he would do so “at [his] own peril.”
  113.      On July 11 and September 25, 2007, [REDACTED] provided deposition testimony on behalf of a police officer in that officer’s lawsuit against Defendant challenging aspects of Defendant’s medical examination practices.
  114.      Thereafter, [REDACTED] was isolated and marginalized, his duties and responsibilities were gradually reduced, and his office staff was downsized—all leading him to suspect that he was being set up for a discharge (and the accompanying loss of his pension).
  115.      In addition, [REDACTED] began to receive evaluations by Defendant rating him at a much lower level then he had been rated in the recent past.  For several years prior, [REDACTED]’s overall performance ratings were “Outstanding” or “Very Good.”  However, his January 16, 2008, overall performance rating was “Needs Improvement,” followed by a document dated January 23, 2008, entitled “Performance Appraisal Meeting” that continued the recently negative feedback given to [REDACTED].
  116.      Fearing termination, on February 7, 2008, [REDACTED] reluctantly applied for retirement, effective March 19, 2008.
  117.      [REDACTED] otherwise intended to remain employed with Defendant until he reached full retirement status in or about February 2010.
  118.      [REDACTED] filed an EEOC charge on January 13, 2009, alleging he had been retaliated against based on his participation in ADA proceedings and for his opposition to actions Defendant committed in violation of the ADA.  He also alleged that he had been constructively discharged.
  119.      On January 22, 2010, the EEOC issued a Letter of Determination finding reasonable cause to believe that Defendant had violated the ADA as to retaliatory unequal terms and conditions of employment and involuntary retirement.
  120.      On March 1, 2010, the EEOC notified Defendant that conciliation had failed and on March 4, 2010, referred the charge to the Department.
  121. [REDACTED]
  122.      [REDACTED] began employment with Defendant as a secretary on or about February 23, 1987.  In or about 1992, she transferred to Defendant’s Health Department, where she held several positions.
  123.      [REDACTED] went on medical leave from on or about March 17 to on or about June 2, 2008, following a stress-related event in the office.  
  124.      By an order dated July 23, 2008, [REDACTED] was directed to report to Dr. [REDACTED] for a medical examination.  In conjunction with this order, Defendant required [REDACTED] to bring “any other medical information that you may have (i.e., doctor’s phone numbers, prescriptions, x-rays, etc.) that may better assist the doctor with this evaluation” and gave [REDACTED] a medical release to present, in turn, to two of her personal doctors “[t]o release [to Dr. [REDACTED]] any and all medical information regarding [ ] care, treatment, evaluation, testing, and/or consultation. . . .”
  125.      During the medical examination, which occurred on August 18, 2008, Dr. [REDACTED] questioned [REDACTED] on subjects including, but not limited to, her marital background; her children; her use of tobacco; her alcohol, coffee, tea, and cola drinking habits; her prescription drug use; the Cesarean section deliveries of her two children; heart conditions; gallbladder removal; low back pain in 2004; diverticulitis; and arthritis in her hips.  Dr. [REDACTED] also conducted a medical examination beyond the scope of the condition for which [REDACTED] was being evaluated, so extensive that it included testing of her deep tendon reflexes, evaluation of the range of motion in her neck and lower back, and a knee examination that confirmed absence of evidence of swelling.
  126.      In his report, dated August 25, 2008, Dr. [REDACTED] noted that he reviewed more than 200 pages of medical records on [REDACTED], dating to August 6, 2003.
  127.      Dr. [REDACTED] concluded that there was “no specific contra-indication for [REDACTED] to perform the essential functions associated with the position of an Office Coordinator. . . .”  Nevertheless, he stated, “. . .I doubt that she is capable of performing that job effectively.” 
  128.      Defendant gave [REDACTED] the option of either accepting a demotion or termination. 
  129.      On October 7, 2008, [REDACTED] opted to continue her employment with Defendant at a lower level position, receiving a pay cut.
  130.      [REDACTED] filed her EEOC charge on December 8, 2008, alleging discrimination and harassment because of her disability. 
  131.      On February 26, 2010, the EEOC issued a Letter of Determination finding that Defendant had violated the ADA by subjecting [REDACTED] to, among other things, unequal terms and conditions of employment, demotion, and an unlawful and unnecessary medical examination.  The EEOC also found, among other things, that Defendant’s policies and actions subject employees to unequal terms and conditions of employment unnecessarily extensive medical examinations, and commingling of medical records in personnel files, in violation of the ADA.
  132.      On March 30, 2010, the EEOC notified Defendant that conciliation had failed and on April 6, 2010, referred the charge to the Department.
  133. Applicants to County Positions

    [REDACTED]
  134.      [REDACTED] is a certified EMT and firefighter and has worked as an unpaid volunteer EMT for Defendant’s Fire Department since 1986.
  135.      In or about 1995, [REDACTED] was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
  136.      [REDACTED] is a person with a disability as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 12102 and 29 C.F.R. § 1630.2.  He has a physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity (the operation of endocrine functions).
  137.      In or about March 2009, [REDACTED] applied for a paid, full-time EMT position with Defendant’s Fire Department. 
  138.      Following a conditional offer of employment on or about June 5, 2010, [REDACTED] was ordered to report for a pre-employment medical examination with Defendant’s medical provider, Concentra. 
  139.      During the June 24, 2010, examination, [REDACTED] disclosed that he had Type I diabetes.
  140.      On or about June 25, 2010, Defendant notified [REDACTED] that he had been disqualified for the EMT position because he had Type I diabetes.
  141. [REDACTED]
  142.      [REDACTED] has worked as a volunteer firefighter and an EMT with Carroll County, Maryland, since 2005. 
  143.      Carroll County requires volunteer EMTs to undergo annual medical examinations to show that they are medically qualified to perform EMT duties.
  144.      [REDACTED] was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when he was a child and his condition has been under control, with the exception of one incident close in time to his diagnosis. 
  145.      [REDACTED] is a person with a disability as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 12102 and 29 C.F.R. § 1630.2.  He has a physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity (the operation of endocrine functions).
  146.      In or about February 2009, [REDACTED] applied for a paid, full-time EMT position with Defendant’s Fire Department. 
  147.      Following a conditional offer of employment on or about June 12, 2010, [REDACTED] was ordered to report for a pre-employment medical examination with Defendant’s medical provider, Concentra. 
  148.      During the June 28, 2010, examination, [REDACTED] disclosed that he had Type I diabetes.
  149.      During the examination, [REDACTED] offered the Concentra medical examiner medical and blood test records from his treating physician and records of past medical examination results dating back to 2005 indicating that he had passed all medical requirements for EMT duties.  The medical examiner declined his offer, stating that she did not need to see them. 
  150.      The next day, Defendant notified [REDACTED] that he had been disqualified for the EMT position because he had diabetes.
  151.                                                 *            *            *            *

  152.      In their EEOC complaints, certain individuals identified herein alleged various violations of the ADA, including that they were discriminated against on the basis of disability and were subjected to unwarranted medical examinations and disability-related inquiries, the unlawful disclosure of their medical records, retaliation, and constructive discharge.
  153.      The EEOC investigated the charges, pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, incorporated by reference in Title I and Title V of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12117 and 12203, and found reasonable cause to believe that Defendant had violated the ADA.
  154.      The EEOC attempted, unsuccessfully, to achieve a voluntary resolution of the charges and subsequently referred the charges to the United States Department of Justice.           
  155.      As to the pattern or practice claims alleged in this complaint, filing an EEOC charge is not a condition precedent to the Attorney General’s independent authority to file suit and obtain appropriate relief.
  156.      All conditions precedent to the filing of this suit have been performed or have occurred.
  157. Causes of Action

    Count I-Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act

  158.      The allegations of Paragraphs 1 through 142 are hereby re-alleged and incorporated by reference as if fully stated herein.
  159.      Defendant’s conduct as described in this Complaint constitutes discrimination on the basis of disability in violation of Title I of ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12111, et seq.,and its implementing regulation, 29 C.F.R. Part 1630, in the following ways:
  160. (a)    by requiring certain employees (including [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]) to submit to unnecessary medical examinations and unnecessary disability-related inquiries, that are not job-related and consistent with business necessity and are unrelated to their ability to perform their job-related functions (e.g., orders to submit to examinations for past medical conditions that did not affect their present ability to perform their job-related duties), Defendant’s conduct described herein constitutes a pattern or practice of discrimination in violation of Title I of the ADA.  See 42 U.S.C. § 12112(d)(4) and 29 C.F.R. Part 1630;

    (b)    by requiring certain employees (including [REDACTED], [REDACTED], and [REDACTED]) to submit to medical examinations and disability-related inquiries that were improperly timed (e.g., while they were undergoing medical treatment) and therefore not job-related and consistent with business necessity, Defendant’s conduct described herein constitutes a pattern or practice of discrimination in violation of Title I of the ADA.  See 42 U.S.C. § 12112(d)(4) and 29 C.F.R. Part 1630;

    (c)    by requiring certain employees (including [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED], [REDACTED], and [REDACTED]) to disclose overbroad medical history and/or medical records (including information wholly unrelated to the medical issues for which Defendant was purportedly evaluating the employees’ fitness for duty), Defendant’s conduct as described herein constitutes a pattern or practice of discrimination in violation of Title I of the ADA.  See 42 U.S.C. § 12112(d)(4) and 29 C.F.R. Part 1630;

    (d)    by disclosing the confidential medical information of certain employees (including [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]) when Defendant provided its medical examiner with workers’ compensation records, Defendant’s conduct described herein constitutes a pattern or practice of discrimination in violation of Title I of the ADA.  See 42 U.S.C. § 12112(d)(4) and 29 C.F.R. Part 1630; and

    (e)    by pursuing a policy and practice of excluding all otherwise qualified applicants for EMT job vacancies (including [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]) on the basis of disability, as defined in the ADA, as amended, because they have insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (Type I diabetes), without showing that the policy and practice is job-related and consistent with business necessity, Defendant engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination.  See, e.g., 42 U.S.C. § 12112(b); 29 C.F.R. Part 1630.

  161.   The acts, omissions, policies and practices of Defendant constitute a pattern or practice of denying the full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of their rights to equal employment opportunities without discrimination based on disability in violation of Title I of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12112 and 12117(a), which incorporates by reference Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-6.
  162. Count II-Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act

  163.   The allegations of Paragraphs 1 through 142 are hereby re-alleged and incorporated by reference as if fully stated herein.
  164.   Defendant’s conduct described in this Complaint constitutes discrimination on the basis of disability in violation of Title V of ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12203, by engaging in retaliatory acts against [REDACTED] due to his protected activity under the ADA.  Among other things, this included Defendant’s forcing [REDACTED] into involuntary retirement because he opposed acts or practices made unlawful by the ADA and/or because he made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing to enforce any provision contained in the ADA.           
  165. Prayer for Relief

    WHEREFORE, the United States prays that this Court:

    (a)    Grant judgment in favor of the United States and declare that Defendant has violated Titles I and V of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12111 et seq., and § 12203 et seq., and their accompanying regulations;

    (b)    enjoin Defendant and its agents, employees, successors and all persons in active concert or participation with it, from engaging in discriminatory employment policies and practices against employees based on disability;

    (c)    enjoin Defendant from requiring employees and applicants to submit to medical examinations and to respond to disability-related inquiries that are not job-related and consistent with business necessity;

    (d)    require Defendant to modify its policies, practices, and procedures as necessary to bring its employment practices into compliance with Titles I and V of the ADA and their accompanying regulations;

    (e)    enjoin Defendant from failing or refusing to take other appropriate nondiscriminatory measures to overcome the effects of the discriminatory and retaliatory policies and practices;

    (f)      award the individuals identified herein, where applicable

    (i)    back pay with interest;

    (ii)   front pay;

    (iii)  adjusted retirement dates with all associated rights and benefits;

    (iv)  compensatory damages, including damages for pain and suffering, in appropriate amount for injuries suffered as a result of Defendant’s failure to comply with the requirements of Titles I and V of the ADA;

    (v)   conversion of retirement classification and associated benefits to the appropriate classification;

    (vi)  placement in the next upcoming Defendant EMT class;

    (vii)  back pension benefits with interest; and

    (viii)  adjustments to seniority status and the award of associated benefits and other perquisites. 

    (g)    order such other appropriate relief as the interests of justice require.

    Jury Demand

                     Plaintiff United States requests a trial by jury as to all counts.

Respectfully submitted this 6th day of August 2012


FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

ERIC H. HOLDER, JR.
Attorney General of the United States

ROD J. ROSENSTEIN
United States Attorney
District of Maryland

ALLEN LOUCKS (Bar No. 03094)
Assistant United States Attorney
United States Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland
36 South Charles Street, Fourth Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
Telephone: (410) 209-4800
Facsimile:  (410) 962-9947

allen.loucks@usdoj.gov

_________________________
THOMAS E. PEREZ
Assistant Attorney General
EVE L. HILL
Senior Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

GREGORY B. FRIEL, Acting Chief
ALBERTO RUISANCHEZ, Deputy Chief
KATHLEEN P. WOLFE, Special Litigation Counsel
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division

 

_________________________
EUGENIA ESCH
DAVID W. KNIGHT
ANNE E. LANGFORD (Bar No. 16439)
Trial Attorneys
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW - NYA
Washington, D.C. 20530
Telephone: (202) 307-0663
Facsimile:  (202) 305-9775
eugenia.esch@usdoj.gov
david.w.knight@usdoj.gov
anne.langford@usdoj.gov

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