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Orr v. City of Albuquerque

531 F.3d 1210 (2008)

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Orr v. City of Albuquerque

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

531 F.3d 1210 (2008)

Facts

Cynthia Orr and Patricia Paiz (plaintiffs) were employed as police officers for the City of Albuquerque (the city) (defendant). During Orr’s and Paiz’s maternity leaves, the city’s personnel director, Mary Beth Vigil, required Orr and Paiz to use their sick time instead of compensatory time for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave. Orr and Paiz sued the city, alleging that Vigil’s policy applied only to women taking maternity leave, therefore constituting discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The city argued that Vigil’s conduct was not discriminatory, but rather a uniform policy. In the alternative, the city contended that any discriminatory effect from Vigil’s conduct was a mere mistake. To refute this claim, Orr and Paiz attempted to introduce an affidavit from Detective Dow. The affidavit claimed that three years prior to the case, Vigil engaged in the same conduct toward eight other pregnant police officers. As a result, the officers brought the unfair treatment to the attention of the city’s police department, which led to an investigation into Vigil’s behavior and an acknowledgment that her conduct seemed to disparately affect pregnant women. The trial-court judge ruled that the affidavit was inadmissible pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 408 because the department’s review and acknowledgment constituted compromise negotiations (i.e., settlement negotiations) in a related case. Without the evidence from Dow’s affidavit, the trial court granted summary judgment for the city. Orr and Paiz appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gorsuch, J.)

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