Employee Allegedly Terminated for her Serious Allergy to the Influenza Vaccine.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Employee Files Lawsuit against Monongalia Health System for Disability Discrimination
Georgette began working for Monongalia Health System in January 2005. Due to an extreme and dangerous allergic reaction to an Influenza vaccine taken in 2015, Georgette qualified as having a disability due to her inability to recover easily from that vaccine. When she learned that she would be required to take an Influenza vaccine in 2016, Georgette filed for a medical exemption in early November.
As part of her request for medical exemption, Georgette suggested that she wear medical masks. She knew that nurses with religious reasons for not having the vaccine often received this accommodation. But, Georgette’s request was denied, and she was offered no reasonable accommodation. In fact, she was told that if she didn’t submit to receiving the vaccination before the end of the month that she would be considered to have “voluntarily resigned.”
Georgette visited her doctor who confirmed that it was “medically necessary that she not receive an Influenza vaccination.” Based on her doctor’s advice, Georgette re-submitted her exemption request. This time she included documentation from her doctor as well as the reports about her serious allergic reaction to the previous Influenza vaccination. Georgette’s request for exemption was denied, and she was suspended for allegedly not following the policy, which dictated that she receive the vaccine or “voluntarily resign.” Georgette stated that any break in the employment relationship would be due to termination, not resignation.Georgette visited her doctor who confirmed that it was “medically necessary that she not receive an Influenza vaccination.”
On November 23rd, Georgette was terminated. Believing that her employer had violated the law by terminating her due to her disability of extreme allergic reaction and not searching for a reasonable accommodation, Georgette filed a complaint with the EEOC and received a Right to Sue letter. As a client of KM&A, she is fighting for her employee rights under the law. KM&A advocates for employees with a disability like Georgette and challenges employers like Monongalia Health System who fail to uphold the law.
Full text of this complaint, as filed with the District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, is available at docket no: 1:17-cv-00222-IMK
Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC is an employment law firm with principal offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, serving all counties in Pennsylvania, focusing on employment law, business law, litigation, and civil issues. KM&A clients include employees, small businesses, parties in litigation, and people with a variety of legal issues.