Former Hudson Cop Claims Pregnancy Discrimination, Retaliation In Lawsuit | WGLT

Former Hudson Cop Claims Pregnancy Discrimination, Retaliation In Lawsuit

Sep 11, 2018

A former Hudson police officer has filed a federal lawsuit against her former boss and the village, claiming they discriminated and retaliated against her.

Kayley Sprout was fired in September 2017 after Hudson officials claimed they couldn’t meet the 25-pound lifting restriction imposed by Sprout’s doctor. Sprout said she was unnecessarily put on desk duty early and not allowed access to a squad car.

In the federal lawsuit filed Sept. 5, Sprout claims her firing was related to concerns she raised about Chief Dale Sparks starting five months before her termination. She suspected Sparks had tipped off a suspect prior to the execution of a search warrant and told village officials and Illinois State Police. State Police investigated that claim but Sparks was never charged, The Pantagraph reported last year.

Sprout’s case became public last fall after 1,400 people signed an online petition on her behalf, with many crowding a Hudson Village Board meeting to voice their concerns.

Now a year later, Sprout’s attorney, Stephen Miller of Chicago, claims she suffered “great mental anguish, humiliation, degradation” and other damages, including lost wages and benefits. They claim the village “failed to adequately train its employees” and violated Sprout’s equal protection rights as a pregnant woman.

“Male police officers who needed accommodations for medical conditions were not subjected to the same restrictions and were not terminated,” Miller wrote. “These include but are not limited to Chief Sparks and Officer Joshua Payne, both of whom had serious medical conditions which involved severe physical limitations and restrictions and were accommodated, were not subjected to the same restrictions, and were not terminated.”

Sprout is seeking unspecified damages and for her old job back.

Sparks declined to comment on the lawsuit. Village attorney Pat McGrath also declined comment.

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