Ex-employee sues Republic Health over ADA violations

On Thursday, a lawsuit was filed against Republic Health Corporation of Rockwall Valley  by a former employee in the Northern District of Texas. The plaintiff accused her former employer of disability discrimination and retaliation, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, after she returned from her Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.

The plaintiff said she began her employment with the defendant in early 2015 as the Executive Assistant. She did this job with no incident or negative report up until when she received her cancer diagnosis, the complaint said; to make life easier for her employer, she said she delayed her cancer surgery in December to accommodate a temporary replacement being found for her. 

After taking her FMLA leave, the complaint said,eave she was scheduled to return on January 12, 2017 but was instructed by the defendant to not return for another week. Upon arriving back to work the following week, she discovered that it was because they were training her replacement employee.

From this point onward, the plaintiff stated, she experienced numerous instances of retaliatory and discriminatory behavior, to the point where work conditions became so difficult for her that she had to quit. 

The plaintiff said that when she returned, she was no longer in her original role, but instead in a “floater” position and was moved to a desk in a file room which was at first lacking any computer or other necessary equipment. This caused her embarrassment because she feared her co-workers would think she got demoted or disciplined. 

She also claimed that she was assigned extra projects without proper resources, placed on a performance improvement plan (PIP) for her absences despite needing cancer treatment, and was investigated for improper use of her corporate credit card.

The defendant allegedly began to go as far as to directly interfere with the medical care she was receiving. They apparently denied medical accommodations that her doctor requested and would try to encourage her to take FMLA time early in an effort to push her out.

The plaintiff is represented by Kilgore & Kilgore.