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Morris cop, fired up about gun rules, files ADA lawsuit

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in Firing,Human Resources,Maternity Leave Laws

A Morris County police officer is suing the county for lost wages stemming from a restriction against firing guns during her pregnancy.

Morris County requires officers to prove their proficiency with their service weapons twice a year.

Sgt. Moire Reilly qualified in 2006, but by the time her next qualification was due, she was pregnant. Her doctor told her “the discharge of a firearm during her pregnancy posed a significant risk of harm to (her) unborn child.” The county agreed to delay Reilly’s next qualification round for 60 days. When that deadline ran out, she requested another 60-day extension.

That’s when the county required Reilly to leave her job and collect disability compensation of $120 a week, a significant drop from her regular $105,541 annual salary.

Reilly’s lawsuit claims the county violated the ADA when it refused to accommodate her pregnancy.

The county maintains it offered Reilly several accommodations, including allowing her to qualify outside and alone to reduce noise levels. It says it gave her the option of wearing soft body armor to reduce the effect of the noise and have someone else clean her gun. It says Reilly refused those accommodations.

The county also asserts that pregnancy is not a disability under the ADA.

Morris County is moving to dismiss the case. If that motion fails, the case is scheduled for trial this fall.

Final note: Reilly delivered a healthy child and qualified for firearm use almost immediately after returning from maternity leave.

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