hostal workplace

My wife who has a disabily, and is working on then process to get SSD. She has seveal medical issues that have become much worse over the last year whan a new supervisor was put in charge of her group, to the point her doctor has had to increasing her blood pressure meds x4 and many other issues. the co refuses to do anything about it and has now opened an investigation, because she told them she was looking to sue them.. as they claim it's "retaliation" and they have launched an investigation" so my questions is is there a possible law suite perhaps here? I know there are many more details my wife can provide and she also has an ex-co worker suing for wrongful dismal and maybe hostile work place as well. any thoughts on this.

1 answer  |  asked Jul 12, 2010 2:18 PM [EST]  |  applies to Arizona

Answers (1)

Francis Fanning
First, you should understand that general rules about workplace discrimination are not a substitute for an attorney evaluating a case by examining all the factual details in a consultation with the client. Your wife's situation is a classic example of why this is true. There are dozens of important details an attorney would want to consider that are not included in your description of the circumstances.
Having said that, I will make a few general observations.
The Americans with Disabilities Act is not intended to protect people who are unable to work due to disability. It only protects a "qualified individual with a disability," that is, an employee who is able to perform all the essential functions of the job with or without an accommodation. By contrast, Social Security Disability is only available to people who are unable to work due to disability. Since the definition of disability is somewhat different in each of these laws, the fact that your wife is seeking SSD does not necessarily mean she is not a qualified individual with a disability, but threading that needle may be very tricky.
If the company opened an investigation because of your wife's complaint, the investigation is to determine if there is any basis for her complaint. It isn't an investigation of her, but of her boss. Whether she has a claim of retaliation depends on what the company does to her as a result of her complaint. The mere fact that the company doesn't find evidence of discrimination by her boss does not mean the company is retaliating against her.
If your wife needs some accommodation on account of her condition, she needs to request an accommodation, which is not the same as complaining about her boss's treatment of her. The company will expect some medical documentation of her need for an accommodation, and may not provide exactly the accommodation she requests.
Given the complexity of the situation, your wife really should consult with an experienced employment attorney. Rather than asking or thinking about a possible lawsuit, she should be trying to address the problem that exists in the workplace. A lawsuit is not a solution to a problem. It is a last resort when other approaches don't solve the problem.

posted by Francis Fanning  |  Jul 12, 2010 3:02 PM [EST]

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