From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
July 20 — A former police cadet who says age discrimination prompted an academy instructor to give her a failing score that blocked her from becoming an officer may present her claim at trial, a federal judge ruled ( Vale v. City of New Haven , 2016 BL 231466, D. Conn., No. 3:11-cv-00632, 7/19/16 ).
The New Haven, Conn., trainer called 40-year-old Kimberly Vale “grandma” several times as part of the “stress inoculation” used to cultivate the thick skin police officers need, the city said. Evidence that the trainer didn't refer to other cadets the same way may show that age-based animus propelled him to flunk her, Judge Charles S. Haight Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut said.
Vale's attorney, Josephine Smalls Miller of Danbury, Conn., questioned the motive behind stress inoculation.
“You’re going to expect that an African-American is going to be called some slurs. When we queried the training people about whether, for example, did they refer to African-Americans by racial slurs, they didn’t do that,” Miller told Bloomberg BNA July 20. “So you’d have to question what’s the motive for this so-called stress inoculation.”
Vale stumbled at the end of an obstacle course after finishing in more time than was allowed, Haight said. Finishing on two feet was a requirement the trainer added that wasn't part of the course, Vale said.
When Vale attempted the course again, the trainer had her run at the same time as another cadet, Haight said. This set up Vale to fail because she was slowed by a narrow segment that could only accommodate one person at a time, she said.
The city contended the instructor spoke to Vale the way he did to cultivate the thick skin she would need as a police officer. She said he was unusually harsh with her.
The city's explanation might be genuine, Haight said. Whether the instructor's statements created a presumption of discrimination or were merely “isolated derogatory remarks” is a question that needs to be resolved at trial, he said.
The judge directed both sides to begin preparations for trial.
A spokesman for the police department declined to speak about the matter because the case is ongoing.
McCarter & English LLP and O'Brien Tanski & Young represented the city.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jon Steingart in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text of the opinion is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Vale_v_City_of_New_Haven_Docket_No_311cv00632_D_Conn_Apr_20_2011_.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)