Former Foster Farms Employee Claims Firing Because of Her Diabetes in ADA Complaint

A complaint was filed on Monday in the Southern District of Alabama against Foster Farms claiming that, as the plaintiff’s former employer, the company deprived her of her rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) by firing her due to her previously disclosed diabetes. 

The plaintiff said she informed Foster Farms on about November 7, 2018, when she was hired, on a medical history form that she was taking insulin. She also told them she had a doctor’s appointment on November 9; after the appointment she was sent to the hospital for tests, and told a Foster Farms employee that was the case that afternoon. The other employee reportedly informed her supervisor and put her email into her personnel file.  

Later that month on November 16, the plaintiff was sick due to her diabetes and sent in an accommodation request and note from her doctor. The complaint said she received an email stating that “Foster Farms did not ‘do accommodations,’ and that Plaintiff had been told she could not miss any more time.” The complaint said the email told the plaintiff that her employment would be terminated. 

The plaintiff said the defendant breached the ADA by refusing to accommodate her disability, and said that she “is and was able to perform the essential functions of her position” at Foster Farms, but that the company did not “engage in the interactive process” with the plaintiff to make her employment work. The plaintiff further alleged that the actions of the defendant were “intentional, malicious, and … recklessly indifferent to Plaintiff’s federally protected rights.” 

The plaintiff, represented by Wiggins, Childs, Pantazis, Fisher & Goldfarb, LLC, said she is seeking lost wages and an injunctive and declaratory judgment against Foster Farms. She said she “is now suffering and will continue to suffer irreparable injury from the defendant’s unlawful policies and practices.” She asked the court to require the defendant to give her the position she would have had previously, in addition to back-pay and interest.