Former constable claims unlawful termination after using approved leave

Kelly Holleran Aug. 19, 2014, 9:17am

A former peace officer has filed suit against Harris County, saying he lost his job after he took time off due to medical leave.

Robert E. Moss filed suit July 29 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division against Harris County, Harris County Constable Precinct One and Alan Rosen. 

According to the complaint, Moss was appointed as a peace officer Jan. 6, 1997, for defendant Harris County Constable Precinct One. He worked in the same position until he took medical leave under the Harris County Family and Medical Leave policy Nov. 7, 2012, due to a serious health condition, according to the complaint.

He was approved for leave, the suit states. Throughout his leave, Moss reported to Sergeant Haggard until Haggard was demoted Jan. 1, 2013. Following Haggard’s demotion, Moss had never been told his leave had expired, the suit states.

Moss wrote a letter to defendant Rosen requesting permission to retire, the complaint says. In response, Moss claims he received a letter dated April 16, 2013, in which Rosen told him he was terminated because he had exhausted all of his leave.

Moss contends he had not exhausted all of his sick leave. To prove the truth of his allegation, Moss points to a notification provided to him with his termination paperwork, stating he had an ending balance of 1.2 sick leave hours.

Not only does Moss argue he should have been allowed to keep his job, but he also says if he had been terminated, he should have been honorably discharged, which would allow him to carry a firearm in certain circumstances and which would open more employment opportunities to him, according to the complaint.

Moss says the defendants violated Title I, Title II and Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act, violated Chapter 21 of the Texas Labor Code and breached their contract.

He seeks actual, general, consequential, special and other damages, plus attorneys’ fees, costs and pre- and post-judgment interest. He also seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from providing false information in government payroll records pertaining to Moss’s employment.

He is being represented by attorneys Lawrence B. Greer and Karen G. Shropshire of Greer Scott & Shropshire in Houston and Dallas.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division case number 4:14-cv-02180

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it represents only one side of the story.

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