The U.S. Department of Justice has reached an agreement with the city of New Albany related to a discrimination lawsuit. The suit alleged the New Albany Police Department and Merit Commission violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by discriminating against an employee based on his disability.
The lawsuit claims the department and merit commission disclosed an employee’s confidential medical information, including documents detailing the employee’s disability, prescription medication and psychological evaluations, to the press. The agreement effectively resolves the lawsuit.
Per the agreement, the police department and merit commission will institute policies to keep employees’ medical information confidential and effectively respond to complaints when such information is unlawfully disclosed. The city has also agreed to pay $100,000 in damages to the employee.
"The unlawful disclosure in this case deprived an employee of his privacy and his dignity, causing him to endure public ridicule and emotional stress," U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said in a news release. "We commend the City of New Albany for committing to changing its policies, training its staff, and compensating the employee."
John Gore, acting assistant attorney general in the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, says the agreement is "another important step towards eliminating employment barriers for people with disabilities."