Employee with Disability Fired while Other Three Employees Allegedly Receive Minimal Discipline
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Employee Files Lawsuit against Wexford Health Services and Erie County Department of Corrections for Disability Discrimination
Stacy accepted a position with Wexford Health Services as a licensed practical nurse in May 2015, and she was assigned to the Erie County Department of Corrections that same day. A year later, Stacy suffered a seizure and could not work for three days. When she returned to work, she recalled that she tried to hand in her doctor’s note, but her supervisor allegedly replied, “hurry up and get [your] FMLA. You’re a good nurse. I would hate to have to let you go for something like not having FMLA for your medical issue.”When she returned to work, she recalled that she tried to hand in her doctor’s note, but her supervisor allegedly replied, “hurry up and get [your] FMLA. You’re a good nurse. I would hate to have to let you go for something like not having FMLA for your medical issue.”
Following her supervisor’s advice, Stacy applied for and received FMLA approval. The following month, Stacy’s seizure was diagnosed as partial symptomatic epilepsy with complex partial seizures. She was still qualified and able to fulfill the responsibilities for her job.
A few weeks later, according to Stacy, another nurse allowed a correctional officer into the prison pharmacy. While the two other nurses and the officer were present, Stacy took the opportunity to discuss the care of an inmate with the officer. The nurses all had clearance to be in the prison pharmacy.
Within days of the event, Stacy’s supervisor and two other managers called her into a meeting. According to Stacy, she was told, “I need your badge and keys.” When she asked why, the manager replied, “You had one of my officers in the med room doing God knows what.” Stacy was escorted out. When Wexford Health Services learned of Stacy’s termination and subsequent loss of security clearances, they also terminated her rather than assigning her to a different company.
Stacy suspects that her abrupt termination was due to her disability because the other nurses and the officer continued their employment with the prison. Although the officer received five days of suspension, only Stacy was fired. As a client of KM&A, Stacy is fighting for her employee rights. KM&A challenges employers who fail to uphold the law and terminate employees because of their disabilities.
Full text of this complaint, as filed with the District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, is available at docket no: 1:17-cv-00330 CRE
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.