Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cop fired for drunk driving suing city, saying alcoholism is a ‘disability’

Cop fired for drunk driving suing city, saying alcoholism is a ‘disability’, Remember the prison inmates who sued manufacturers of beer, wine, and spirits, claiming that “demon rum” was responsible for their criminal actions? Now a police officer fired for DUI has come up with even more hilarious grounds for a lawsuit. Opposing Views writes that on Friday, former Oregon police officer Jason Servo, who was fired for drunk driving in an unmarked police car while off-duty, filed a lawsuit against the city of Gresham. His suit asserts that his alcoholism is a disability recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

‘Just as with any type of disability or disease, they should have made some kind of effort to accommodate that, or some kind of effort to work with him, and not simply sever all ties,’ one of his attorneys in the suit, Shawn Kollie said.

Alleging his rights were violated under the Americans with Disability Act, Servo, 43, says the city cannot fire him.

Much as any sane person might want to believe that Servo and his legal team are making this all up, the ADA actually identifies alcoholism as a disability, adding:

[A]n employer may not make job decisions based on the fact that an employee is an alcoholic, attends AA meetings, or takes medication to curb the urge to drink. However, an employer may prohibit drinking at work and may generally hold all employees to the same standards of performance and conduct.

Ultimately, the law goes on to note, “an employee who can’t meet those standards” can be terminated, but Servo’s attorneys are saying he was never given a fair chance to get help with his “disability.” In addition, they maintain, since Servo was off-duty at the time of the incident, the city had no reasonable expectations of job-related “performance and conduct.”

Servo was arrested in January 2011, when he crashed his unmarked police car into a ditch. Earlier the same day, he had conducted a firearms training session and then joined other officers for dinner and drinks.

The suit, which is seeking $6 million in damages, additionally alleges that Servo’s firing was a cynical ploy to save money. Said attorney Kollie:

I know it sounds kind of like a conspiracy theorist's claim, but we do believe there was a funding issue in the Gresham police department at the time.

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