Germain v. County of Suffolk

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May 2009
  • Workplace Equality and Economic Empowerment
  • Litigation Case Document
Legal Momentum served as plaintiff co-counsel with attorney Janice Goodman, a veteran advocate for working women.

Summary of the Case

We argued the case on behalf of Suffolk County Park Police Officer Tara Germain, who was forced to take a nearly year-long unpaid leave of absence during her pregnancy when the county refused to give her a light duty job assignment because it reserves light duty for officers injured on the job.

Decision

In a verdict delivered in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the jury found that Suffolk County Park Police Department’s light duty policy had a discriminatory disparate impact on women officers, in violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The County failed to convince the jury that its policy was necessary for the Park Police Department to function effectively.  Likewise, the jury found that the County illegally retaliated against Officer Germain when it refused a request by her husband—a sergeant in the Police Department—to transfer some of his accrued vacation and sick time for his wife’s benefit during her forced leave of absence.