Lincoln City Police Department Under Fire Over Pregnancy Discrimination Allegations

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Stephen F. Austin University Settles Lawsuit with 6 Students Over False Police Report

A former Lincoln City Police Department officer is suing on allegations of discrimination during pregnancy.

A former Lincoln City Police Department officer recently filed a lawsuit alleging that she was wrongly dismissed. According to officer Summer Danneker, she was fired after telling the department that she was pregnant. The suit names the city, police department, Lt. David Broderick, Sgt. Robert Bomar and Chief Jerry Palmer as defendants.

Pregnant woman; Image courtesy of Piepie via Pixabay, www.pixabay.com

According to the lawsuit, Danneker was serving as a senior police officer at the time of the alleged unlawful dismissal. She started working in the department on September 11, 2017 and was released on August 1, 2020. On January 15, 2020, she visited her doctor “after suffering from extreme fatigue”. During the appointment, she learned that she was pregnant because she had suffered from extreme fatigue. “To confirm the pregnancy, she underwent a series of blood tests.

While waiting for these results, “she attended defensive tactics training in Las Vegas,” where she “told a training officer that there is a chance she may be pregnant and awaiting results.” According to the lawsuit, the training officer recommended “Danneker accommodation during the training and continued to take her in even if she received confirmation from her doctor on January 29, 2020 that she was actually pregnant.” With the accommodation, she successfully completed the training and get their certification.

Then on February 6, 2020, Danneker informed Sgt. Bomar of her pregnancy. From there, Bomar informed Lt. Broderick and Danneker eventually asked the police to record their pregnancy. For example, she made notes from her doctor stating, “She shouldn’t lift more than 20 pounds, shouldn’t be exposed to toxins, and that her duty belt should be properly worn.”

Seems simple enough. Shortly after she informed Broderick of her pregnancy, he allegedly asked “his assistant to contact the defensive tactics training program to see if Danneker had participated and if she would be certified,” which the lawsuit says is not a standard procedure. It is important to note that he did not speak to the training officer who housed Danneker. He spoke to someone else who said Danneker had not been certified.

The lawsuit alleges that “Broderick jumped to conclusions and assumed Danneker did not attend instead of asking them or consulting with the program director.”

Then on February 10, 2020, she notified Chief Palmer that she was pregnant. From there it went downhill. Nine days later, Broderick opened an internal investigation into Danneker because he believed she had not received her certification and was not attending the Las Vegas training course. From there, Danneker was taken on administrative leave until she was released in August.

According to the lawsuit, Broderick and the other officials named in the lawsuit eventually learned that Danneker had indeed been certified in the training. Unfortunately, “they continued the investigation even after hearing this news.”

During the internal affairs investigation, Danneker said she told Chief Palmer on more than one occasion that she felt “she was being discriminated against based on her sex because she was pregnant”. She added that “Palmer has not investigated her allegations of discrimination and has not referred her allegations to Human Resources.”

Danneker is represented by lawyers Robert K. Meyer and Ashley Bannon Moore. Commenting on the suit, Moore said:

“A woman should never have to choose between a career and a mother. Officer Danneker is deeply saddened by the Lincoln City Police Department and those whose archaic behavior in quitting after their pregnancy was disclosed has deprived them of that choice. As this case progresses, we look forward to the transparency and accountability that only the courts can provide. “

Swell:

Ex-officer sues Lincoln City PD, alleging she was fired because of pregnancy

Former officer sues Lincoln City Police Department