Sheriff Jones caused an internal investigation to b conducted.
The investigation found that Smith has not violated any law or policies of the department and further did not violate any rule regarding the use of fire arms. After all these findings disciplinary charges were made against Smith and were awarded with 30 days suspension. After a due process hearing the board which went into the issue concluded that Smith was at fault in the incident and created dangerous situations for himself the public and the victim. The 30 day suspension was upheld by the board. Against all these actions Smith went to Court alleging racial discrimination as the cause of withholding active duty from him.
Prima facie on seeing the facts there are incidences that make us believe that there could have been racial discrimination. The primary fact was that Smith had vision impairment. If so, it was neither brought into consideration at any stag of the examination. However could this be a cause of assigning him desk duties? On the other hand the Attorney's office and other authorities seem to have agreed that there was nothing culpable in the actions of Smith. Why was the departmental enquiry insisted upon and how did they arrive at a totally different conclusion? Was there discrimination? The facts of the case would under the circumstances show that there was a case for Smith.
Arguments Presented by each Side
Smith's argument is that when the authorities except the board found him fit for active service he ought to have been allow on duty and his subsequent suspension and disciplinary enquiry is racial discrimination at the workplace. As in the issues raised, there seems to be some substance in the argument. However the question of his eye sight was not examined properly by either side. If he had very bad eyesight that could not be corrected with devices like glasses, will that pose further dangers to the public on account of his nervous actions? This could be asked as a counter question. Neither Smith nor the Sheriff seems to have card for the issue.
As far as the Sheriff is concerned, the question is to be seen from the point-of-view of the police work. When a policeman shoots an unarmed person, what measures are to be taken?
As per the ADA, "the determination whether the petitioner's impairment 'substantially limits' one or more major life activities is made with reference to the mitigating measures that he employs." In this case the visual impairment also could be corrected and therefore is not a disability. Secondly the racial discrimination issue was considered in June 22, 2006. The Supreme Court considered the title "VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Co. vz. White" and affirmed that it forbids employment discrimination based on "race, color, religion, sex, or national origin," and this case is a watermark in the racial discrimination issue.
The saving factor in this case is that as was stated in "Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc. (08-441) the plaintiff must provide direct evidence of discrimination in order to obtain a 'mixed-motive instruction in a non-Title VII discrimination case."
Thus it was held that the complainant must adduce evidence of the discrimination alleged and that the discrimination was motivated by a bias in sex race and so on. There is ample scope for Smith to argue his case and provide evidence. In the contrary the Sheriff will have to show that the same disciplinary actions were taken for other officers of different race from Smith in the same manner and that the Sheriff was following the natural legal process. As stated in the arguments above, prima facie there is scope for a suit to stand.
Was the prosecution and subsequent assignment to Smith based on his race? That can be inferred indirectly. It depends on the precedents that are available with regard to the use of firearms similar to the case of Smith and if the same procedures and same results followed. Only if such a routine has been established for all personnel could Smith's case fall into the 'administrative policy'. If this was without such precedents and if Smith was the first person to be placed into such circumstances then it appears that the evidence adduced as to his blamelessness in the affair was ignored deliberately. Being an African-American the presumption of discrimination in a hostile workplace cannot be ruled out.
It is therefore recommended that Smith be sent for examination of his eyes and in the event of their being ok for the work he be reinstated on active duty. The suspension appears to be an act done by way of singling out Smith and while the succession of events is sure proof for smith, the Sheriff will have to show that there was no racial bias in subjecting Smith to disciplinary proceedings and giving him desk job when he was found to be fit.
In Smith's case all the evidence shows that the competent authorities found him innocent of the charges and a special board constituted after these findings are published indicates a vindictive attitude towards him. Though in reality this may not be the case it leads up to being circumstantial evidence which the onus will lie on the Sheriff to disprove, and be generally found to be a risky proposition. As it stands Smiths's suspension and disciplinary enquiry is racial discrimination at the workplace. The arguments for this are simple and direct. The onus of establishing that there was no racial discrimination on the part of the office lies with the Sheriff. The facts alleged show that the disciplinary committee either did not take the evidence and findings of the Attorney's office, the psychiatrists and other authorities and there is nothing to show or warrant the disciplinary proceedings if Smith was earlier absolved of the alleged violation. A person could not be put to double jeopardy. If the sheriff's office cannot show a precedent where in a similar case involving other races such proceedings have been taken then there lays a case for Smith.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Notice Concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008
On September 25, 2008, the President signed the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 ("ADA Amendments Act" or "Act"). The Act emphasizes that the definition of disability should be construed in favor of broad coverage of individuals to the maximum extent permitted by the terms of the ADA and generally shall not require extensive analysis.
The Act makes important changes to the definition of the term "disability" by rejecting the holdings in several Supreme Court decisions and portions of EEOC's ADA regulations. The effect of these changes is to make it easier for an individual seeking protection under the ADA to establish that he or she has a disability within the meaning of the ADA.
The Act retains the ADA's basic definition of "disability" as an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment. However, it changes the way that these statutory terms should be interpreted in several ways. Most significantly, the Act:
directs EEOC to revise that portion of its regulations defining the term "substantially limits";
expands the definition of "major life activities" by including two non-exhaustive lists:
the first list includes many activities that the EEOC has recognized (e.g., walking) as well as activities that EEOC has not specifically recognized (e.g., reading, bending, and communicating);
the second list includes major bodily functions (e.g., "functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions");
states that mitigating measures other than "ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses" shall not be considered in assessing whether an individual has a disability;
clarifies that an impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active;
changes the definition of "regarded as" so that it no longer requires a showing that the employer perceived the individual to be substantially limited in a major life activity, and instead says that an applicant or employee is "regarded as" disabled if he or she is subject to an action prohibited by the ADA (e.g., failure to hire or termination) based on an impairment that is not transitory and minor;
provides that individuals covered only under the "regarded as" prong are not entitled to reasonable accommodation.
EEOC will be evaluating the impact of these changes on its enforcement guidances and other publications addressing the ADA.
Dipboye, Robert L; Colella, Adrienne. (2005) "Discrimination at Work: The Psychological and Organizational Bases" Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Mahwah, NJ.
N.A. (2006) "Burlington Northern and Santa Railway Co. v. White: Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit" Retrieved 26 March, 2009 at http://www.scribd.com/doc/1053019/U.S.-Supreme-Court-05259