Worker claims employer violated ADA

Michelle Keahey Nov. 7, 2011, 4:28am

A New Orleans worker who needed a year of medical leave for a tendon surgery has filed a lawsuit against her former employer claiming she was fired in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Katie Anthony filed suit against Porter Industries Environmental Services Inc. on Oct. 31 in federal court in New Orleans.

On June 22, 2010, Anthony requested leave pursuant to the family medical leave act due to a serious health condition. On July 12, her leave was authorized and she was told she could take one year of leave.

In October 2010, Anthony had a tendon lengthening surgery performed on her Achilles tendon and she was told that she would not be able to return to work for at least two to three months after surgery. In January, the defendant notified Anthony that unless she was able to return to work with a release from her attending physician no later than February, she would be terminated.

Anthony's doctor would not release her for regular work for another two to three months, but said that she could be released to sedentary work. Anthony provided the physician's recommendations to the defendant on Feb. 1 and she was terminated on Feb. 2, the suit claims.

The defendant is accused of violating the American's with Disabilities Act by failing to deal with Anthony in good-faith for reasonable accommodations.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for back pay, lost income, compensation and benefits, front-pay, credits toward retirement and pension plans, damages for humiliation, mental anguish, inconvenience, punitive damages, court costs and attorney's fees.

Anthony is represented by New Orleans attorney Hollis Shepherd. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-02712

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