Captain Vicky Evans-Robinson, 55, who worked as a spokeswoman for the Oakland Fire Department, recently settled a disability discrimination lawsuit with the city for $245,000. The law suit had alleged that the department refused to allow Evans-Robinson to return to active duty on three occasions from 2005 to 2008, following seizure episodes despite medical clearance from her neurologist.
City officials denied the allegations and said that they provided Evans-Robinson with time off for her medical condition so that she would be able to perform her duties without endangering herself or others. Robinson has been back to work since last year and now works with the hazardous materials division.
On November 13, 2009, Judge Ronni MacLaren ruled in Alameda County Superior Court that the city was not liable for disability discrimination but left it to the jury to decide if Evans-Robinson was subjected to "adverse employment actions because of a medical condition." Choosing not to risk a jury verdict, the city agreed to compensate Robinson with $245,000. The council is expected to formally ratify the agreement on Dec. 8.