Case: DOJ Investigation of City of Miami Beach Police Application Practices

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Case Summary

On January 3, 2024, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it had secured a settlement agreement with the City of Miami Beach, Florida to end the City’s practice of conducting medical examinations or making disability-related inquiries of applicants before making a conditional offer of employment to an applicant. The Agreement affirms that such  hiring conduct is a violation of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The DOJ commenced its investigation into t…

On January 3, 2024, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it had secured a settlement agreement with the City of Miami Beach, Florida to end the City’s practice of conducting medical examinations or making disability-related inquiries of applicants before making a conditional offer of employment to an applicant. The Agreement affirms that such  hiring conduct is a violation of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The DOJ commenced its investigation into the City based on information about its police hiring practices indicating that the City’s background investigations required medical and psychological examinations of police officer candidates before the City extended real offers of employment. The investigation was not based on the DOJ's receipt of a complaint, or a referral of a charge from the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC). The Clearinghouse was unable to confirm when the investigation began.

The Agreement acknowledged that because of the City’s practice of conditioning police officer job offers not only on successful completion of a medical and psychological examinations, but also on numerous other background investigation components, police applicants could not determine whether the City revoked job offers because of the results of the medical and psychological examinations or because of other aspects of their background investigation.


The Agreement committed the City to: (1) not conduct medical examinations or make disability-related inquiries of applicants before making a real offer of employment to a job applicant, and to evaluate all relevant non-medical information which it can reasonably obtain and analyze prior to making a conditional offer of employment; (2) provide any police officer candidate whose conditional offer it withdraws with the reason their conditional offer was revoked, including any medical or disability-related reasons; (3) provide training on its revised background procedures and Title I of the ADA to new human resource staff, police background investigators, and other employees and contractors who participate in police hiring or personnel decisions within 30 days after the start of their employment or promotion; and (4) host a training in 2024 for representatives from Florida’s municipal and county law enforcement agencies that includes an overview of Title I of the ADA conducted by a DOJ-approved trainer and a discussion about the City’s police hiring procedures and background process.

The duration of the Agreement is one year from the effective date of January 3, 2024.

Summary Authors

Alex DiLalla (2/11/2024)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Agreement Between the United States of America and the City of Miami Beach

Jan. 3, 2024

Jan. 3, 2024

Settlement Agreement

Docket

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Florida

Case Type(s):

Disability Rights

Key Dates

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of Miami (Miami, Miami-Dade), City

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.

Available Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Content of Injunction:

Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols

Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention

Provide antidiscrimination training

Issues

General/Misc.:

Pattern or Practice

Discrimination Basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Discrimination Area:

Hiring

Medical Exam / Inquiry