One of the nation’s largest healthcare providers served notice on Jim Garrity this month that, to avoid facing him in a federal jury trial next month, it would pay to settle his client’s disability discrimination case.
On top of that, Corizon agreed to pay his fees separately so the client keeps one hundred percent of the amount paid to her. At the time of the offer, Garrity’s fees exceeded $100,000.00.
The client is a former Corizon mental health counselor. During her employment she suffered from chronic neck and back pain. Shortly before she was fired, she underwent surgery to alleviate the pain. She was not able to return on time and asked for a few extra weeks to fully recover. Rather than give her that brief extra time out, the lawsuit alleged, Corizon simply fired her. That violated her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because employers are required to allow unpaid leave as an accommodation. Garrity scored a major victory for the client several months ago when the federal judge agreed that Corizon should stand trial on the charges. As the judge said, “Viewing this evidence and drawing all inferences in [the client’s] favor, a jury could reasonably find that Corizon Health would not have suffered an undue hardship during the time [she] would have been on additional leave.”
The case has now come to an end, and the parties are working on drafting and signing the necessary agreements.
Did You Know?
Most employees know about the FMLA, which allows up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for medical conditions. But many don’t know that the Americans with Disabilities Act, which actually covers most of the same conditions as the FMLA, allows for even more unpaid leave after the FMLA’s twelve weeks are exhausted. Employers are required to review these options with their employees, but many don’t.
If you have questions about your rights to leave for medical conditions, please call us at (800) 663-7999 for a free, private and detailed consultation.