Alamo v. Bliss, No. 15-2849 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Alamo worked for the Chicago Fire Department. He alleges that in 2009, after a transfer, other firefighters began harassing him, calling him “spic” and “f--king Puerto Rican,” and stealing Alamo’s food. Alamo also alleges that the number of times he was assigned to work at different locations was excessive when compared to assignments given to non-Latino colleagues. His supervisor, Lieutenant Bliss, did not remedy the behavior. At one point, Alamo called 911 about a “chest bump” incident but did not press charges because of pressure from the Chief. The next day, Alamo experienced chest pain, dizziness, and a migraine. A physician diagnosed him with a work-related chest contusion, work-related stress, and possibly post-traumatic stress disorder and ordered medical leave. The Medical Section Chief stated the Department would not pay for treatment. After Alamo had been on medical leave for six months, he obtained written authorization to return to work without restrictions, but the Department required additional documentation. Alamo filed a charge with the EEOC. The Department continued to request additional records. Alamo filed suit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, and against Bliss, under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The Seventh Circuit reversed dismissal of his hostile work environment, disparate treatment, and retaliation claims. The complaint describes an investigation into his fitness to work that was so onerous that it could not be completed in four months and sufficiently alleged retaliation.