Civil Action No.

Jury Demanded



Plaintiff, United States of America, alleges:


  1. The United States brings this action against Defendant Bolivar County (Bolivar County or Defendant) to enforce the statutory and regulatory provisions of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111-12117, which incorporates, through 42 U.S.C. § 12117, the powers, remedies, and procedures set forth in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e.  
  2. This Court has jurisdiction of this action under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f) and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345.
  3. This Court has authority to grant a declaratory judgment pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202, and authority to grant equitable relief and monetary damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12117.
  4. Venue is appropriate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391.
  5. Bolivar County is a person within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12111(7) and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(a).
  6. Bolivar County is an employer within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12111(5), and a covered entity within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12111(2) and 29 C.F.R. § 1630.2. 
  7. Mr. Tommey Gomillia is a career correctional officer with nearly twenty years of experience. 
  8. Bolivar County hired Mr. Gomillia to be a correctional officer at Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility (BCRCF) on September 6, 2011.
  9. Mr. Gomillia was diagnosed with type II diabetes in 2005.  In 2009, he lost 40-50 pounds and had no symptoms of diabetes in 2011 when Bolivar County hired him as a correctional officer.  Diabetes is a disability within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12102(1) because it is an impairment that substantially limits endocrine function.  29 C.F.R. § 1630.2(j)(3)(iii).
  10. Mr. Gomillia had a record of having a disability, and/or Bolivar County regarded him as having a disability, within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12102(1), when Bolivar County terminated him in 2011.     
  11. Mr. Gomillia was a qualified individual within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12111(8) for the correctional officer position because he could perform the essential functions of the position. 
  12. Mr. Gomillia received his uniforms and began attending training classes on Tuesday, September 13, 2011.
  13. On Thursday, September 15, 2011, BCRCF sent Mr. Gomillia to Cleveland Family Medicine Clinic for a post-hire physical exam.  The post-hire physical exam includes three pages of medical forms:  (1) a self-reporting medical history form; (2) a medical form for the doctor to fill out; and (3) a medical qualification form. 
  14. On the self-reporting medical history form Mr. Gomillia checked “yes” to a question asking if he previously or currently had diabetes.    
  15. The attending physician, Dr. Scott Nelson, filled out the other two BCRCF forms.  On the medical form, Dr. Nelson checked “normal” next to all of the 25 body parts, systems, and vitals listed.  He also wrote on the form that Mr. Gomillia needed to be seen for a follow up appointment to check his blood sugar and blood pressure again.  Mr. Gomillia’s blood sugar tested within normal limits during the exam, although his blood pressure was higher than the normal range.  Dr. Nelson started Mr. Gomillia on a low dose of medication to lower his blood pressure.
  16. The medical qualification form required Dr. Nelson to select one of three options, indicating that Mr. Gomillia was medically able to participate in the physical activity required for the job, was temporarily able to participate, or was not medically able to participate.    Dr. Nelson checked the line indicating that Mr. Gomillia was temporarily able to participate in the physical activity needed to be a correctional officer.  Dr. Nelson checked “temporarily able” because he wanted Mr. Gomillia to come back to see him to monitor his blood pressure.  Dr. Nelson believed that Mr. Gomillia was qualified to perform the essential functions of a correctional officer with no restrictions.
  17. Mr. Gomillia returned all three medical forms to BCRCF on Thursday, September 15, 2011.
  18. On Friday, September 16, 2011, BCRCF Warden Elmore Sellers called Mr. Gomillia on the telephone to question him about having sugar in his blood.  Warden Sellers told Mr. Gomillia that he was not healthy enough to work as a correctional officer and that, until he got healthy, he could not hire him.
  19. On Monday, September 19, 2011, Mr. Gomillia went back to Dr. Nelson, at his own expense, to take a more accurate diabetes test, the A1C blood test, to alleviate Warden Sellers’s concerns and confirm that he was not diabetic.  He also got a note from Dr. Nelson that said, “Diabetes controlled and patient on low dose B[lood]P[ressure] meds patient OK for reg[ular] job duties.”  (Emphasis in original).  Mr. Gomillia gave the doctor’s note to BCRCF the same day.
  20. Bolivar County terminated Mr. Gomillia from employment with BCRCF effective September 16, 2011 by a letter postmarked September 20, 2011.
  21. On January 3, 2012, Mr. Gomillia filed a charge of disability based discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging, among other things, that Defendant discriminated against him in violation of the ADA by discharging him one day after he disclosed during a post-hire physical examination that he had a history of diabetes.
  22. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5, incorporated by reference in 42 U.S.C. § 12117(a), the EEOC investigated Mr. Gomillia's charge and found reasonable cause to believe that his allegations of discrimination are true.  After attempting unsuccessfully to reach a voluntary resolution of the charge, the EEOC referred the matter to the United States Department of Justice.

Cause of Action

  1. The allegations of the foregoing paragraphs are incorporated herein by reference.
  2. Title I of the ADA prohibits covered entities from discriminating against a qualified individual on the basis of disability in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.  42 U.S.C. § 12112(a).
  3. Bolivar County discriminated against Mr. Gomillia by terminating him from his job as a correctional officer at BCRCF because of a perceived disability or record of disability, based on the results of a pre-employment medical examination, despite the fact that he is a qualified individual who is able to perform the essential functions of the position, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 12112 and 29 C.F.R. §§ 1630.2, 1630.4, and 1630.14.
  4. Mr. Gomillia has suffered, and continues to suffer, harm as a direct result of Defendant's discrimination, including emotional distress and humiliation.
  5. Prayer for Relief

    WHEREFORE, United States prays that the Court grant the following relief:

  6. Grant judgment in favor of the United States and declare that Defendant has violated Title I of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111-12117, and its accompanying regulation;
  7. Enjoin Defendant, its officers, successors, assigns and all persons from engaging in unlawful employment practices against individuals with disabilities;
  8. Provide sufficient remedial relief to make whole the charging party, Mr. Gomillia, for the individual loss he has suffered as a result of the discrimination against him, including an offer of reinstatement to the correctional officer position with retroactive seniority, granting him full backpay with interest, pension and related benefits, and any other appropriate nondiscriminatory measures to overcome the effects of the discrimination he has endured;
  9. Award compensatory damages to Mr. Gomillia to fully compensate him for injuries caused by Defendant's discriminatory conduct, pursuant to and within the statutory limitations of 42 U.S.C. § 1981a;
  10. Order Defendant to train its supervisors and human resources staff regarding the requirements of the ADA; and
  11. Award such other additional relief as justice may require.
  12. Plaintiff United States demands a trial by jury.


DATED: November 17, 2015

Respectfully submitted,

Attorney General of the United States

United States Attorney
Northern District of Mississippi





/s/ Ralph M. Dean
Chief, Civil Division
Assistant United States Attorney
Northern District of Mississippi
900 Jefferson Avenue
Oxford, MS  38655
Telephone:  (662) 234-3351
Facsimile:  (662) 234-3318

/s/ Vanita Gupta
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

Deputy Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division


/s/ Rebecca B. Bond
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division


/s/ Dov Lutzker
Special Legal Counsel
Deputy Chief
Trial Attorney
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice 
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. – NYA
Washington, D.C.  20530
Telephone:  (202) 307-0663
Facsimile:  (202) 305-9775