Police Officers Given a Second Chance

The Plaintiffs in Groesch v. City of Springfield are white police officers who brought claims of reverse race discrimination against the City of Springfield, Illinois.  Each plaintiff resigned from the Springfield police department and was later re-hired.  When they were re-hired, pursuant to city policy, they were forced to return at entry level salary and seniority levels without credit for their prior service.  However, an African-American police officer resigned from the Springfield police department and the city passed an ordinance granting him the ability to be return to the police force at the salary and seniority level he achieved when he left the force. 

 The federal district court dismissed the white officers’ claims as time-barred and the officers appealed to the 7th Circuit.  While the appeal was pending, Congress enacted the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009.  The Ledbetter Act states that the plaintiffs had a new and separate cause of action for each paycheck they received in which their pay was reduced based on discrimination.  This brought their claims within the appropriate time limitations and the case was remanded back to the district court for further proceedings.  To read the 7th Circuit’s full opinion, click here: http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/tmp/6M0UOXBX.pdf

The DeBlasio Law Group is experienced in employment discrimination litigation and can answer your questions about discrimination in the workplace.