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Worker sues employer for disability discrimination

In the city of Charleston, a former worker at a utility company has filed a lawsuit in Kanawha Circuit Court complaining of retaliation on the job due to his disabled status. The claimant was working as a mechanic for about a year at the company up until filing his suit last month. Although he stated that he was a competent and able worker, performing his duties as directed and meeting all the requisites of his job, the company felt otherwise.

The worker claims he had a stellar record during the year of his employment until he suffered a work-related injury on the job. In his lawsuit, he claims that when he attempted to get medical treatment and Worker's Compensation, he was granted temporary total disability. While he was claiming these benefits, he was informed he had been terminated from his job. In his suit, the defendant stated that his dismissal violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act, on the basis of his disability. He also claims that his rights were violated based on the federal guidelines for the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This act and subsequent iterations, prohibits any workplace discrimination based on disability.

The former worker states he was a victim of retaliatory discharge and later, the right to reinstatement when the company failed to give him his old job back. He was not given the option of a comparable new position that was commensurate with his abilities.

The former mechanic's lawsuit states he is demanding compensatory and punitive judgments regarding pre-and post-judgment interest.

It is never easy to work at a physically-demanding job. For those brave individuals who do so in spite of disabilities, they have rights, just as any other American citizen. Employment discrimination takes many forms, including retaliatory discharge, and those who wish to maintain steady work in spite of their perceived disability should be provided equitable employment treatment under the law.

Source:  wvrecord.com, "Former employee sues ED Coal for retaliation, discrimination" Kyla Asbury, Dec. 06, 2013

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