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Rock Springs cop sues city, alleging it discriminated against her for being pregnant
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Rock Springs cop sues city, alleging it discriminated against her for being pregnant

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Scales of Justice

A Wyoming police officer sued her city of employ this week, alleging it discriminated against her by denying her a chance at promotion because she was pregnant.

The city, Amanda Clawson-Walker alleges, refused to consider her application for an open sergeant position because the final trimester of her high-risk pregnancy kept her from taking a physical test on the date it was administered. Her request to take the test — requiring one minute of push ups, one minute of sit ups and a timed mile-and-a-half run — after giving birth was not considered, she alleges.

The cop had taken and passed the same test a year prior for her promotion to corporal, according to the lawsuit filed shortly before 5 p.m. Monday in federal court.

Because the city did not consider the cop’s request for accommodations, it violated federal civil rights law, Clawson-Walker’s lawyers allege. And, according to the lawsuit, a federal agency charged with enforcing civil rights law in the workplace found that there was reasonable cause to believe the city discriminated against Clawson-Walker and other women in similar situations.

John Robinson, one of the lawyers representing Clawson-Walker in the case, confirmed by phone that she still works for the agency. He said he was otherwise unable to comment on the case.

Rock Springs City Attorney Richard Beckwith declined Tuesday afternoon to comment for this story.

The Rock Springs agency responsible for hiring police officers, Clawson-Walker states, began requiring in 2015 that candidates for promotion take physical tests to qualify. When Clawson-Walker tested for corporal that year, she took and passed a physical test.

In June 2016, Clawson-Walker applied for an open sergeant’s position, the lawsuit states. She was due to give birth in early August and provided the agency her doctor’s note requesting she be allowed to take the physical test at least 12 weeks after delivery, the lawsuit states.

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Instead, the Rock Springs Police Civil Service Commission, which handles hiring, promotion and discipline for the police department, wrote back within days stating that she was not eligible because she could not take the physical agility test, according to the lawsuit. The agency hired the same month another person, who was not pregnant, to fill the sergeant role.

Clawson-Walker’s doctor allowed her to return to work in September 2016 without restrictions, according to the lawsuit.

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Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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