Wrongful termination case of special needs woman goes forward
On behalf of California Civil Rights Law Group posted in Wrongful Termination on Thursday, March 9, 2017.
Many of California’s residents have special needs that require a modification of job duties in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. As long as the accommodations are reasonable, employers are required to make them under the act. An out-of-state woman claims that, after personnel changes, her supervisors stopped providing her with reasonable accommodations and ultimately fired her. Her former employer recently attempted to have her wrongful termination claim dismissed, but a federal court said that all but one of her claims, which was for employer retaliation, could move forward.
The woman worked for the hospital for many years without incident and received favorable employment reviews. When a co-worker was promoted and became her supervisor, that all changed. She began receiving disciplinary write-ups for not working fast enough, so the woman provided a letter from her doctor indicating that, because of her special needs, she needed more time to learn and perform a task. Even a doctor from her employer, which happened to be a hospital, agreed and indicated that the woman was under stress due to the lack of patience from her supervisor.
Ultimately, the Montana hospital fired the woman, citing poor performance. However, the woman claims that her termination was actually based on discrimination due to her special needs and age. She also alleges that, even though other positions were available that she was qualified for, she was terminated instead.
The federal court ruled that a jury should determine the validity of this woman’s wrongful termination claims. The same might occur here in California under similar circumstances. The ADA exists to protect workers who need reasonable modifications to their job duties. No one should be denied the right to work because of a disability. Anyone who believes they suffer from discrimination due to a disability might benefit from talking to an attorney to determine whether legal action is appropriate.
Source: ktvq.com, “Judge clears way for ex-worker’s suit against St. Vincent“, Ed Kemmick, March 1, 2017