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Denver to Pay Deputy Settlement Over Jail Not Accommodating His Medical Needs

May 16, 2018  | 

The city of Denver has agreed to pay a deputy sheriff $100,000 in damages to settle a discrimination complaint brought by the U.S. Department of Justice over a failure to accommodate the officer's diabetes-related needs, reports the Denver Post.

As part of the settlement agreement, which the Justice Department announced Tuesday in a news release, the city "will revise its reasonable accommodation policies and procedures and will conduct training on the ADA for Sheriff Department supervisors, command staff and human resources personnel." The ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees.

The deputy, who had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a teenager, began working in the city's jail in 1998, the complaint says. In April 2015, he was suspended after suffering a diabetic emergency. He had not taken a meal break and was denied a relief officer after experiencing symptoms of low blood sugar.

The Denver Sheriff Department later fired him after rejecting doctor-suggested accommodations, including regular snack breaks and allowing him to test his blood sugar on the job, the complaint says.

That was overturned and he was reinstated. But after another diabetic emergency caused by not accommodating the deputy's needs, it was determined he was not qualified to work as a deputy sheriff, based on his medical history.

The settlement says the city reinstated him in the Denver County jail during the Justice Department's investigation and has provided back pay and benefits for the time he was out of work.

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