Many individuals in West Virginia and elsewhere suffer from disabilities, but that does not prevent them from pursuing gainful employment with some assistance. A former comptroller from another state alleges that she was fired unjustly based on her disability. She pursued her discrimination claim against the county treasurer in a federal court.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff was highly successful in her position during her tenure, but everything for changed after illness. Reportedly, the plaintiff spent time in the hospital with a life threatening medical condition. She claims that the treasurer mistreated her and was hostile toward her because of her disability. Additionally, she purports that he had no empathy for her condition and did not take her emotional or physical welfare into consideration.
Once the plaintiff returned to work, she discovered that her tasks were going to be given to another employee who had less experience. The treasurer purportedly told her that it would be a good idea for her to retire, but the woman had no desire to quit and wanted to continue performing her job duties. Sometime later, the woman allegedly received a letter indicating that her position would be eliminated within 30 days, ultimately leading to her termination.
The treasurer contends that he had no idea that the plaintiff was disabled and that he did not fire her, but rather offered her a different position, which she decided not to take it. Furthermore, he claims that by consolidating her position and others, he was able to cut down costs by 30 percent. The woman sued for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and a jury awarded her $450,000. West Virginia employees who feel that they are fired unjustly do not need to simply accept what has happened to them and can turn to the civil court system. Aggrieved employees who successfully win their cases may be awarded monetary damages for their emotional distress, possible reinstatement and any other redress that is applicable.
Source: madisonrecord.com, "Jurors award $450K to former MC comptroller on ADA discrimination claims", Feb. 18, 2016