CHARLESTON, S.C. — The federal government has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina against a South Carolina pest control and landscaping company that allegedly fired an office manager after denying her request for leave as an accommodation for her disability.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the office manager, who worked at Massey Services Inc.'s Charleston facility, asked for leave because she was hospitalized due to her disability. Massey not only denied the former employee's request for accommodation but allegedly fired her in retaliation and then refused to rehire her for the position. Instead, the company recruited other candidates for the office manager position, the EEOC said. The EEOC alleges Massey violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
"The ADA affords people with disabilities the right to employment benefits without fear of negative employment actions by their employers," said EEOC Atlanta district officer regional attorney Antonette Sewell in a statement. "It is imperative that employers comprehend and uphold their duty to protect that right, particularly as it pertains to people who are most susceptible to mistreatment."
"Federal law does not allow employers to terminate an employee merely because the employer believes there are medical issues," added EEOC Atlanta District office director Bernice Williams-Kimbrough.
According to the EEOC, the lawsuit seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctive relief.