A former officer with the Lincoln City Police Department is suing over allegations of pregnancy discrimination.
A former officer with the Lincoln City Police Department recently filed a lawsuit over allegations that she was wrongfully discharged. According to the officer, Summer Danneker, she was terminated after she informed the department that she was pregnant. The suit names the city, police department, Lt. David Broderick, Sgt. Robert Bomar, and Chief Jerry Palmer as defendants.
According to the suit, Danneker was working as a senior police officer at the time of the alleged wrongful termination. She began working for the department on September 11, 2017, and was fired on August 1, 2020. Back on January 15, 2020, she visited her doctor “after she had been experiencing extreme fatigue.” During the appointment, she learned she was pregnant from a had been experiencing extreme fatigue.” To confirm the pregnancy, she underwent a series of blood tests.
While waiting for those results, she “attended a defensive tactics training in Las Vegas” where she told a “training officer that there was a possibility that she may be pregnant and that she was awaiting the results.” According to the suit, the training officer “recommended accommodations for Danneker during the training and continued to accommodate her even after she received confirmation from her doctor on Jan. 29, 2020, that she was in fact pregnant.” With the accommodations, she successfully completed the training and received her certification.
Then, on February 6, 2020, Danneker informed Sgt. Bomar of her pregnancy. From there, Bomar informed Lt. Broderick and Danneker eventually asked the police department to accommodate her pregnancy. For example, she provided notes from her doctor stating “she should not lift more than 20 pounds, should not be exposed to toxins, and that her duty belt must be properly fitted.”
Seems simple enough. However, soon after she notified Broderick of her pregnancy, he allegedly “asked his assistant to contact the defensive tactics training program to see if Danneker had attended and if she would be certified,” something that is not standard procedure, according to the suit. It’s important to note that he did not speak to the training officer who had accommodated Danneker. He spoke to someone else who said Danneker had not been certified.
The suit alleges “Broderick jumped to conclusions and assumed Danneker did not participate, rather than asking her about it or consulting with the head of the program.”
Then, on February 10. 2020, she informed Chief Palmer that she was pregnant. From there, things went downhill. Nine days later, “Broderick opened an internal affairs investigation into Danneker based on the fact that he believed she had failed to receive her certification and did not participate in the training in Las Vegas.” From there, Danneker was placed on administrative leave until she was fired in August.
According to the suit, Broderick and the other officers named in the suit eventually learned that Danneker had indeed been certified at the training. Unfortunately, even after learning that bit of news, they “continued to pursue the investigation.”
Throughout the internal affairs investigation, Danneker said she told Chief Palmer, on more than one occasion, that she felt she was “being discriminated against based on her gender because she was pregnant.” She added that “Palmer did not investigate her allegations of discrimination and did not refer her allegations to human resources.”
Danneker is represented by attorneys Robert K. Meyer and Ashley Bannon Moore. When commenting on the suit, Moore said:
“A woman should never have to choose between a career and becoming a mother. Officer Danneker is deeply saddened by the Lincoln City Police Department and those whose archaic conduct in terminating her after her pregnancy disclosure deprived her of this choice. As this case progresses, we look forward to the transparency and accountability that only the courts can provide.”