ADA Protects Workers Suffering From Postpartum Depression in New Jersey, New York, and Nationwide

file000396636516 morguefile username frenchbyte.jpgAn Indiana-based power grid company recently agreed to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit for more than $90,000. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reportedly filed the lawsuit against Midcontinent Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) in response to a complaint filed by a former employee who was allegedly terminated as a result of a medical leave request related to postpartum depression treatment. MISO reportedly fired the employee for lack of attendance despite that the leave she requested was allowed by company policy. MISO also apparently told the employee that she could not be absent due to the critical nature of her job duties. Still, the company purportedly waited nearly two months after her requested return date to fill the former worker’s position.

According to the EEOC, the former worker’s postpartum depression severely limited more than one of her major life activities for a substantial period of time. Because of this, the agency charged that it was a protected disability pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, U.S. employers must provide reasonable accommodations to disabled workers unless the accommodation would cause undue hardship for the employer.

As part of a consent decree, the federal court ordered MISO to pay the former employee $90,500, provide ADA training to company workers, provide annual disability request and compliance reports to the EEOC, and notify other workers about the lawsuit and settlement. The EEOC is also tasked with monitoring company compliance with the ADA over the course of the next three years.

No matter the cause, disabled workers in New Jersey, New York, and across the nation often suffer illegal workplace discrimination. Too many employers and supervisors choose to unlawfully harass or discriminate against employees who suffer from a temporary or permanent disability. Disabled workers have a right to expect fair treatment.

Depending on the situation, workers in New Jersey and New York have a right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical leave for a severe health condition. Before taking such leave, a worker is required to provide reasonable notice to his or her employer. The laws related to medical leave can be confusing because some employers or positions are exempt from federal or state medical leave requirements. If you feel you were fired, harassed, or otherwise mistreated at work as a result of a request for medical leave, you should consult with an experienced employment lawyer about your case.

The diligent employment attorneys at the Resnick Law Group represent current and former employees in both New Jersey and New York regarding legal matters that involve workplace disability and other discrimination. To discuss your situation with a quality advocate, do not hesitate to contact the Resnick Law Group through our website or give us a call at 973-781-1204 or 646-867-7997 today.

More Blog Posts:

Paramus Party Company Settles Sexual Harassment Case Filed on Behalf of Terminated Teen Worker, The New Jersey Employment Law Firm Blog, August 20, 2013
EEOC Settlement Reminds Employers in New Jersey and Across U.S. to Refrain from Unlawful Religious Discrimination, The New Jersey Employment Law Firm Blog, August 20, 2013
Additional Resources:

MISO to Pay $90,500 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Press Release dated July 11, 2013

Photo credit: frenchbyte, morgueFile

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