Employee with Cancer Allegedly Told He Was Replaced Because They Thought He “Wasn’t Going to Make It”


Employee Files Lawsuit against The National Institute for Newman Studies for Disability Discrimination

Robert joined the National Institute for Newman Studies’ (NINS) Board of Directors as a board member in 2003. In January 2015, Robert entered into negotiations to become the executive director. The NINS announced Robert as the executive director in May 2015.

A year later, in January, Robert shared with three other board members that he had been diagnosed with Lymphoma, and he was scheduled to begin chemotherapy in February. He also told them that his doctor had said he had a 80-90% chance of recovery. Robert continued working 60 hours a week despite his chemo treatments. Then, on March 2, Robert shared with one of the board members about the side effects of the chemo. According to Robert, this board member ordered him to work from home for the next two months and not to return to the office until his chemo was complete.

Robert never heard anyone say that his working from home would result in his termination. He also noted that no interactive process occurred to determine what would be the best reasonable accommodation for his situation. He was simply ordered out of the office.

During his first month out of the office, he was told that he could not directly communicate with staff and had to go through another board member first. Robert learned from these staff that they had been told not to directly communicate with him. Therefore, Robert struggled to follow through on his work without communicating with the staff. When Robert’s doctor informed him that his cancer was gone on April 7, he prepared to return to work.

Robert discovered that he’d been replaced. His replacement had been offered the position in May, only three months after Robert had been diagnosed. According to Robert, the board members admitted that they believed that he “wasn’t going to make it” so they replaced him.

Robert knows that he was illegally terminated due to his severe health condition. As a client of KM&A, Robert fights for his rights under the law. KM&A represents women and men like Robert who have suffered disability discrimination and wrongful termination in the workplace.


Full text of this complaint, as filed with the District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, is available at docket no: 2:18-cv-01055-JFC

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.

For more information about this case, contact Attorney Christi Wallace at 412-626-5569 or at cw@lawkm.com.

NOTICE: All information contained in this statement comes from the Complaint which has been filed as a public record with the court. As dedicated civil rights attorneys, we strongly believe in the public value of telling our clients’ stories: violators can be held accountable, and other silent victims can feel empowered to stand up for their legal rights. Although we make every attempt to verify our clients’ claims, note that the defendant is expected to oppose our client’s position, and the court has not ruled one way or the other as of the date of this statement.