On July 31, 2017 Smith Law Offices, LLP successfully defended the City of Riverside in a jury trial concerning a disability discrimination suit filed by a former City employee.
The case was brought by a former City wastewater operations dispatcher whose legal issues originated in 2013, when she alleged sexual harassment against a male co-worker whom she previously dated. The City’s investigation concluded she was not harassed and would have to return to the workplace, and shortly after returning, she allegedly experienced panic attacks and severe anxiety and depression.
The plaintiff claimed she was a disabled individual protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and therefore entitled to reasonable accommodations in the workplace. She eventually went on leave in June 2013 and was advised by her physician to return to work if transferred to another position.
Doug Smith, lead trial lawyer for the City and managing partner of Smith Law Offices, LLP, argued that the City collaborated with the plaintiff to accommodate her needs. After several meetings and interviews, she ultimately secured another office specialist position at a lower pay rate. She accepted under protest, but resigned six months later, claiming she was constructively discharged. The plaintiff filed her lawsuit, and the recent trial resulted in a verdict for the defense.
“This is a great result for the City of Riverside. We always believed the City acted appropriately in its treatment of [the plaintiff’s] claimed disability” said Smith. “We just wanted our day in court and we got it.”