On July 15, 2022, United States of America (“Plaintiff” or “United States”), represented by Sara B. Sariet of U.S. Department of Justice (CRD-ELS), filed a civil rights lawsuit against City of Lansing, Michigan (“Defendant” or “Lansing”), seeking injunctive relief and damages for alleged discrimination on the basis of religion. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, with Judge Robert J. Jonker and Sally J. Berens presiding.
In the complaint, the plaintiffs stated, “On or around August 29, 2017, Coleman submitted her application for the unionized Detention Officer position with the City of Lansing, Michigan Police Department.”
The plaintiff further stated, “On or around February 15, 2018, Coleman appeared for an in-person interview with McKitty, Lansing Police Captain Daryl Green, and Lieutenant Traci Ruiz.”
The plaintiff also stated that “McKitty, who also interviewed Coleman by phone, was aware at the time of the panel interview that Coleman needed off from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday so that she could observe the Sabbath as a Seventh-day Adventist.”
The plaintiff claimed that “Coleman explained to Captain Eichenberg that she could not work the Saturday shift because she is a Seventh-day Adventist and observes the Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.”
The plaintiff also claimed, “The termination letter, dated June 21, 2018 and signed by Sanchez-Gazella, states that: ‘[e]ffective June 20, 2018, the City of Lansing is terminating your employment due to you not being able to meet the job requirements of the Detention Officer position.’”
The plaintiff alleged that “Sanchez-Gazella and Eichenberg generally reviewed the duties and requirements of the Detention Officer position but did not discuss anything else before deciding to terminate Coleman’s employment.”
The plaintiff further alleged that “Lansing management did not discuss any potential accommodations with Coleman, including whether there were other open positions within Lansing for which she was qualified.”
The plaintiff also alleged, “The relevant provisions of the collective bargaining agreement between Lansing and the union do not prevent Lansing from attempting to make changes to Coleman’s schedule to accommodate her nor does the collective bargaining agreement prevent voluntary shift swaps between Detention Officer employees.”
The plaintiff additionally alleged, “Coleman suffered emotional distress, pain and suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, humiliation, and other non-pecuniary damages as a result of Lansing’s discriminatory actions.”
The plaintiff listed only one claim for relief for alleged discrimination on the basis of religion in violation of section 703(a) of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a).
In the prayer for relief, the plaintiff requested a judgment seeking a permanent injunction and an order to institute policies, procedures, and programs to ensure a nondiscriminatory workplace, and an award for damages with prejudgment interest, and costs.
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Pending - Other Pending
Civil Right - Employment Discrimination
Robert J. Jonker
Sally J. Berens
City of Lansing
Sara Beth Safriet
Attorney at U.S. Department of Justice (CRD-ELS)
4 Constitution Sq., 150 M St., Ne, Ste. 9.1128
Washington, DC 20530
(#1) COMPLAINT with jury demand against City of Lansing filed by United States (Attachments: #1 Summons) (Safriet, Sara) (Entered: 07/15/2022)
(#2) NOTICE that this case has been assigned Robert J. Jonker (eod) (Entered: 07/18/2022)
(#3) (DISREGARD) SUMMONS ISSUED as to defendant Lansing, City of (eod) Modified text on 7/19/2022, replaced by #4 (eod) (Entered: 07/18/2022)
(#4) SUMMONS ISSUED as to plaintiff United States of America (eod) (Entered: 07/19/2022)
Docket(#4) SUMMONS ISSUED as to plaintiff United States of America (eod) (Entered: 07/19/2022)Read MoreRead Less
Docket(#3) (DISREGARD) SUMMONS ISSUED as to defendant Lansing, City of (eod) Modified text on 7/19/2022, replaced by #4 (eod) (Entered: 07/18/2022)Read MoreRead Less
Docket(#2) NOTICE that this case has been assigned Robert J. Jonker (eod) (Entered: 07/18/2022)Read MoreRead Less
Docket(#1) COMPLAINT with jury demand against City of Lansing filed by United States (Attachments: #1 Summons) (Safriet, Sara) (Entered: 07/15/2022)Read MoreRead Less
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