Legal Spotlight

Legal Spotlight: An agency's prerogative to set and enforce medical guidelines

An all-too-common issue encountered by departments revolves around medical inquiries concerning acknoweldged or perceived disabiling conditions. Can an agency make an inquiry into an officer's current medical status? This situation may involve a long-time employee or a veteran returning to duty after serving overseas.

Does What Happens in Corpus Christi, Stay in Corpus Christi?

The City of Corpus Chrisi, Texas was faced with the threat of a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice, Employment and Litigation Division. At issue was a long-standing debate over the city's physical fitness test for applicants. In response to an earlier inquiry by Justice about potential adverse impact, Corpus modified its standards. (How do you unilaterally modify standards if they've been validated?)

Question: We have a candidate requesting a reasonable accommodation; what are our obligations?

We got a call into the FF World HQ's recently from a training officer at a department. The department was going to be conducting applicant fitness testing and were notified by a potential candidate that she would be requesting a reasonable accommodation for the sit up test and the 1.5 mile run portions of the battery.

Physical Testing: Have Our Requirements Changed?

A colleague with knowledge of the in-house studies conducted by the FBI at the heart of Bauer shared the following with me in a recent conversation:

the test was validated to assess overall physical fitness as it pertains to the safe and effective performance of the Special Agent position. She (Dr. Grubb) also notes that a primary concern was to assess whether a NAT (National Academy Trainee) would be able to perform in a safe manner during their time at the Academy. In addition, the standards should be required to ensure safe performance as a Special Agent, and not just at the applicant or NAT level.