Baltimore County Faces Three Additional Federal Lawsuits

Two firefighters and a police officer who were fired file suit one month after the county settled ten other cases.

Two firefighters and a police officer filed suit against Baltimore County claiming they were forced out of their jobs after being forced to submit to what they claim were illegal medical tests.

The cases, filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, come one month after the as part of a consent decree with the Department of Justice.

, a Towson attorney who is representing the three public safety officers, was not immediately available for comment. Cahill was also the attorney in the 10 cases the county settled in August.

Stay with Patch for updates on this article.

Greg Redmer September 06, 2012 at 09:59 AM
And the man who caused this is still on the payroll.
mike a September 06, 2012 at 11:37 AM
is it me, or is this article really weak on details? What kind of testing? As public safety employees, things like physical fitness and heart condition would be pretty critical to their job and public safety. Of course it should be considered. Screening for possible diabetes markers or psoriasis, not so much.
Bruce Snyder September 06, 2012 at 12:30 PM
The biggest problem is at the top of the County's Fire & Police Departments as the Chiefs are instructed from County Officials to eliminate any employee that costs the individual Departments' budget money. For decades, the policy has been to force retirement on anyone with ongoing medical issues, as pensions fund from another outside source, rather then carry members through rehabilitation on the Fire or Police Department's dime. In-house fitness and performance programs in the Fire Department are a joke as they do nothing to address individuals in need of ongoing health assistance. The Fire Department's coercive, forced retirement policy is readily embraced by the current Fire Chief in an effort to establish and bolster his own personal fiscal accountability so that he maintains his job. Members, in a time of need, and quite often personal pain, who have dedicated their careers and lives to public service, are outcast by the administration rather then being supported by the Departments, and citizens they care about.
mike a September 06, 2012 at 01:09 PM
thanks for info. sounds like a harsh policy in regards to current members. do they try to reassign them to non front line positions, or just dump them on the street? how does that apply to new applicants? I can't see hiring someone with a current physical impairment for a physically demanding job. And giving away "gravy" jobs to newbies because they can't cut it while prior service types carry the water on the front lines isn't fair either.
Bruce Snyder September 06, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Much of the policy stems from the County being self-insured. Without any outside source watching them, they run cost analysis on members as a budget cutting concept. First they hammer members on the earned sick leave utilization for an injury, and then pressure them to either comeback early form their injuries, or resign. Since the members are forced to medically clear through a County contracted doctor prior to returning, if the County doesn't want them then they don't get cleared. In all fairness there are no more 'gravy' jobs due to the economy, but the heavy handedness does not have to play out against the members. In the FD, it is just the personal preference of the current leaders that deal it that way. As for the 'newbies', the policy is to 'hire everyone who meets the specific demographic need' regardless of their physical capabilities, then let nature take it's course over a two-year probationary period. It's all very cold and calculated, and again doesn't, and shouldn't have to be that way.
fred September 06, 2012 at 04:54 PM
the county also allowed others with the same conditions to continue to work, while eliminating some.
Steve September 06, 2012 at 05:06 PM
In the real world if you can't do the job you are fired. Why should it be any different working for the government?
Joe September 06, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Yet you will not fire the failed Obama? Do you even understand what you type?
Bruce Snyder September 06, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Steve, I am well aware of what is needed to function in the 'real world', and I do not contest that especially in the FD & PD all members need to be able to perform at a high physical level. Hence the obvious need for fitness performance programs. If Baltimore County answered to independent insurance companies that rewarded enhanced capabilities, then none of this would be of issue. However what is going on in the County is ethically questionable as these members are usually injured doing the job for the citizens. They are not asking for a free ride, just an honest chance to heal, and continue on with their careers dedicated to saving lives and property. They do not deserve this kind of treatment, or the uphill fight to save their jobs for which untold hours and expense has gone into their certifications, all so that everyone else in the 'real world' can sleep better at night.
Steve September 06, 2012 at 05:45 PM
They don't deserve any kind of special treatment either. If you can't do the job find another line of work.
JDStuts September 06, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Bruce, That is a fantastic piece of insight - thanks so much for sharing. The reporting and the lawsuits never exposed the pension/operating budget dynamic.
JDStuts September 06, 2012 at 05:50 PM
I don't think he is arguing against that. The point is if you have a linebacker like Ray Lewis in the prime of his career who needs shoulder surgery you don't cut him and draft a 19th round rookie. You give a chance to rehab and then try him out.
Steve September 06, 2012 at 06:02 PM
What happens if you have a Ryan Leaf?
Freddy September 06, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Steve if you knew anything about these cases you would know they could do the job and was cleared to do their job by the doctor (specialist) not some county doctor that doing what he is being told to do from the higher up.
Bruce Snyder September 06, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Steve, you are certainly entitled to a hard line, un-sympathetic, myopic, republican point of view on people, and their place in the world, but unfortunately Baltimore County is continuing to hire many folks who cannot physically do the job from the onset. So, the next time you need a medic at your house for a cardiac emergency, or a cop to chase a armed psycho at a movie theatre, or a firefighter to pull you out of a burning window, please think about your unrelenting position, and hope you get 'the one' that can do the job exceptionally well.
Steve September 06, 2012 at 06:14 PM
I am not speaking specifically about the cases. The whole sense of entitlement is whats wrong. The Duds should have never been hired in the first place. That tired old canard "when you need......" doesn't apply.
Freddy September 06, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Steve, What duds should have been hired in the first place? Are you talking about the 3 people in the law suit? I know one of the three very well and he is a very decorated firefighter, respected and would lay his life on the line everyday for you or his fellow firefighters. Unfortunately he had a cardiac issue that was fix and was cleared by his cardiologist to return to duty. For some reason the county doc said no, wouldn’t you think a cardiologist has a little more knowledge in this man’s medical condition then a county doc.
Steve September 06, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I was responding to Mike's post. " I can't see hiring someone with a current physical impairment for a physically demanding job. "
Joe September 06, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Obama can't do the job but you want to give him 4 more years to "fundamentally transform the USA" into a European socialist state?
fred September 06, 2012 at 07:09 PM
steve thats a good thought, however one of the cases settled was because they did not hire someone because of what the county thought was a physical impairment( diabetes). the county can't be trusted to make the correct decisions with the people that are in place right now. that is the reason they have to report to the feds on a regular basis for the next 3 years. also as i stated before how can they let some with the same conditions continue to work?
John T. September 06, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Steve. you sound like a conservative. You're all over the place.
John T. September 06, 2012 at 07:26 PM
But if you're an illegal, minority, or simply have a criminal record then Steve probably would support a promotion to Captain, as well as discounted college tuition, free medical services as well as food stamps and rental assistance.
Bruce Snyder September 06, 2012 at 07:29 PM
ADA states that you have to give someone with any perceived disability 'reasonable opportunity to test' and 'reasonable accommodations to perform' the job. Since the County is paranoid regarding civil lawsuits for discrimination, they allow everyone who enters the FD Academy to graduate, then again, let them founder in their field duty assignment. This wastes time, resource, and risks lives, all for the sake of being politically correct. That is an unproductive process, and also something they are under the federal microscope for. Again, it does not need to be this way, but they are afraid of taking a stand and pursuing proper hiring procedures. So, they continue to operate on a cost cutting basis to manage the members and their budget.
John T. September 06, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Ryan Leaf had a job in the private sector - NFL. I don't really feel sorry for the team or Ryan Leaf, because in the screwed up world of professional sports, Ryan Leaf received a lot of guaranteed money for poor performance.
Jimmy September 07, 2012 at 09:41 PM
The FD gets rid of those they want, prosecute those they want and threaten anyone who stands up to them... Someone needs to take a look at a certain Paramedic that took a disability retirement about 27 years ago. Within months he was riding a volunteer medic unit while collecting the disability pension. HMM
Steve September 07, 2012 at 11:33 PM
Diabestes is a physical impairment. Have you ever been around someone who went into insulin shock?
Freddy September 08, 2012 at 12:25 AM
And I want to say he has a 6 figure salary today to go along with his disability retirement.
Dontay Paigea September 30, 2012 at 10:40 AM
Well you know how my situation faired out and I have still been riding since my 2005 unlawful termination.............and in case you didn't you can still google it..... Dontay Paige
Timika N Grant October 23, 2012 at 12:43 AM
The county made me see their medical doctor too.My results didnt come back yet.I seen my own doctor first.Im still waiting since September
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