Georgia Federal Judge: University Must Stand Trial on Disability-Discrimination Charges

Valdosta, Georgia – A federal judge yesterday ruled that Valdosta State University must stand trial on accusations that it harassed and then fired my client, an instructor, because of his disabilities.  The trial, which will be presided over by U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands, starts May 15, 2017 at the U.S. District Courthouse in Valdosta.

The instructor, a training specialist, taught training courses on various subjects, such as Leadership, Organizational Skills, and Customer Service, to VSU staff faculty, employees, students and occasionally other University System of Georgia employees.  He disclosed specific medical conditions to VSU supervisors and asked for modest accommodations so he could perform his duties.  The lawsuit alleges that rather than accommodate him, VSU supervisors harassed him, mocked him, refused to accommodate him and then fired him.  We seek substantial lost wages, damages for emotional distress and related costs and expenses.

This case highlights a severe problem disabled employees face.  Most employers give lip service to the idea of employing disabled workers but show little patience when those employees actually need help.   To be sure, the laws don’t give disabled workers a free pass.  They’re held to the same performance standards as any other worker.  The laws simply require employers to offer help as needed so disabled workers can meet expectations.  This can included modified job duties, minor changes in scheduling, and minor assistance from coworkers.

Federal laws give all disabled employees powerful rights against employers who won’t honor even these limited obligations.  This case perfectly illustrates the need for such protection.

Jim Garrity

Employee Rights Lawyer, Florida & Georgia



Categories: Accommodations, ADA Retaliation, Disability Accommodations, Disability Discrimination, Retaliation

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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