A less than successful surgery leads to a discrimination claim

A woman who worked for a storage facility claims that she lost her job because of an injury that occurred at work. When she first started working for her Texas employer, Northwest Highway Self-Storage, she was brought on as a lead associate. Some of her responsibilities included rental agreement processing, greeting customers and leading the customers to their units. She later suffered an injury to her hand and shoulder and was told she would need surgery. After her surgery, she claims that the discrimination began.

The plaintiff alleges that her surgery was not entirely successful and that her doctor said that her shoulder and arm would be "permanently partially disabled." She returned to work with restrictions that would not allow her to lift heavy objects, walk long distances or type. She continued working under these medical restrictions for several months, at which point her employers began to ignore her restrictions. Once again, she showed her employer her restrictions to reiterate that it would cause her injury to be aggravated, but she was told to not come back to work and to have physician rewrite her note to say that she cannot work.

She claims that her regional manager spoke to her afterwards. Reportedly, he wanted her to keep working for the company and that she would be promoted to district manager, which would accommodate her restrictions. Not long after, she was told that she was terminated and that the regional manager was aware that she was losing her job. She alleges that she was not offered any alternatives that would accommodate her restrictions.

She filed a claim against the storage facility and the their management company for disability discrimination. Texas employees who suffer from a disability and are not granted a reasonable accommodation after requesting one may elect to file a civil claim against their employer. The worker may be awarded back pay, monetary damages and even be returned to work, if applicable

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Denton County woman files discrimination claim against owner of storage facility", Andrea Dearden, Sept. 12, 2014

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