Wyoming police officer gets job back after lawsuit

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A Wyoming police officer who says he was fired for taking care of his sick mother, wife and kids will be allowed to return to the force.

24 Hour News 8 obtained the settlement agreement between Eric and Amanda Grunewald and the City of Wyoming and Police Chief James Carmody. Eric Grunewald was a Wyoming police officer who, according to his federal lawsuit, was fired for taking time to care for sick family members.

He named the City of Wyoming and Carmody in the $3 million lawsuit, claiming his firing violated the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and that Carmody claimed officers who used sick time were being disloyal.

Carmody and the city deny that allegation and said Eric Grunewald was fired due to performance issues.

Eric Grunewald was also challenging his firing through his union. However, both sides reached a settlement agreement in December.

In the agreement, the city does not admit it did anything wrong. The settlement also called for both the lawsuit and union grievance to be dismissed.

The City of Wyoming will pay Eric Grunewald and his wife $60,000 for alleged emotional distress damages and the officer will be allowed to return to duty. He’ll also be credited with his pension and leave benefits that would have been collected since his firing.

Before he can return to duty, Eric Grunewald will have to pass a fitness-for-duty exam, including a psychiatric exam. He’ll also be subject to monthly drug testing for the next year.

According to court records, Eric Grunewald had been under a last-chance agreement due to what was called “problems with prescription drug use.”

It was unclear if the officer has already cleared those benchmarks and is back on duty.

 

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