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Disabled vet sues Rochester for cops’ refusal to rehire him

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A former Rochester Police Depart­­ment officer and Army veteran is suing the city, alleging it broke the law when it refused to rehire him after he finished two tours of combat duty in Iraq.

Jeremy Peterson returned from Iraq suffering from hearing loss, the result of several bomb blasts. He applied to return to his old job as a Rochester police officer. Because of his hearing loss, he could no longer meet the job’s physical requirements, so he asked if he could serve as a community affairs officer, a job he had also held before. The department—headed by Peters­on’s father, Chief Roger Peterson—turned him down.

His lawsuit, which claims the police department violated its own policies by refusing to rehire him, seeks $50,000 in damages, plus attorneys’ fees.

Note: Returning veterans have extensive rights under USERRA—the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. The ADA also protects disabled veterans. Always consult with your attorney when making decisions regarding returning veterans to ensure you are in compliance.

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