A second woman this week sued the city of Rock Springs, alleging it denied her a chance at promotion inside the police department because she was pregnant.
Officer Amanda Daugherty filed the case in federal court on Friday, alleging that the Rock Springs Police Department’s hiring officials refused to reschedule a physical agility test the agency required her to perform for promotion. Taking that test while pregnant would not have been safe, Daugherty states in the lawsuit.
Attached to the filing is a notice indicating that a federal agency found reasonable cause to believe the police department violated civil rights law by discriminating against Daugherty and other women in similar circumstances.
Rock Springs City Attorney Richard Beckwith did not immediately respond to a Friday afternoon phone message requesting comment for this story. Beckwith declined Tuesday to comment on a lawsuit filed this week making similar allegations on behalf of a different woman.
According to the lawsuit filed Monday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found reasonable cause to believe the city discriminated against Cpl. Amanda Clawson-Walker, who sought to earn a promotion while pregnant.
Both women allege in their civil filings — which are separate from the EEOC’s administrative process — that the city agency responsible for hiring police officers refused to accommodate their pregnancies by allowing them to reschedule a physical test. Both women’s doctors determined that the test’s requirements: one minute of push ups, one minute of sit ups and a timed mile-and-a-half run, were not safe for the policewomen to undergo.
And because the city did not consider the cops’ request for accommodations, it violated federal civil rights law, the lawyers argue.
The two cases are not identical, however.
Daugherty sought to take the test about five months after Clawson-Walker had been denied a promotion, according to the filings. And Daugherty, unlike Clawson-Walker, did not seek promotion to an open position.
Although the police department was planning to hire a corporal, Daugherty did not seek a promotion at the time of the physical test, which nearly coincided with her due date. Instead, Daugherty asked that she be allowed to reschedule performance of the physical drills within 12 weeks of the December 2016 test date so that she could be considered for promotion if any other positions opened over the course of the year, the lawsuit states.
Daugherty’s lawsuit notes that she had earlier in 2016 successfully completed a fitness test as part of a department incentive pay program. The physical test is one portion of the promotion evaluation process, which also includes a written component and oral interviews.
The Rock Springs Police Civil Service Commission, which handles hiring, promotion and discipline for the police department, declined, however, to allow her to take other portions of the promotion testing, according to the lawsuit.
“Candidates must be able to complete each section of the testing process to advance and be considered for promotion,” the lawsuit states the hiring agency told her. “Since you are unable to complete the necessary testing requirements, you will not be eligible for promotional consideration.”
Megan Hayes, the Laramie lawyer who represents Daugherty, said by phone Friday that the two women knew each other: they were the only pregnant people in the department at the time. Hayes said that her client left the agency following the commission’s decision.
“It was sort of a dead-end spot here for her,” Hayes said.
Daugherty now works for the Mills Police Department. An online publication of the agency’s roster lists Daugherty as a detective.
John Robinson, one of the lawyers representing Clawson-Walker, said by phone on Tuesday that his client still works for the agency. He said he was otherwise unable to comment on the case.
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