||Oracle Tips by Burleson
Americans with Disabilities Case
In a landmark Arkansas case, the employer agreed
to pay $220,000 because it was determined they were violating the ADA. The employer
failed to provide reasonable accommodations for the employee, who is
paralyzed and uses a wheelchair; substantially cutting his salary;
demoting him because of his disability; and retaliating against him
for engaging in activity protected by the ADA.
Wrongful Termination – Illness Case
According to a November 22, 2002 article in the
San Francisco Chronicle, a jury awarded over $11 million to a former
saleswoman for wrongful termination. Claudine Woolf was a star Mary Kay saleswoman when she discovered
that she was pregnant, and also had breast cancer. The company refused
to cut her $8,000 monthly sales quota despite her difficult and
Mary Kay, Inc. defended itself with the positions
that it never fired the plaintiff, and also that she was actually an
independent contractor, not an employee. Therefore, as a contractor,
they declared that she could not file a wrongful terminationsuit.
Woolf led a team of salespersons for Mary Kay that
was highly successful. Within a period of 2 weeks in 1997, Woolf found
out she was pregnant and had an aggressive form of cancer. Her doctors
recommended that she have an abortion since she was jeopardizing the
lives of both her and her unborn child in battling the cancer. Woolf
decided with her husband that they wanted to try to save both lives
while continuing to work. The sales for Woolf’s team began to fall
during this difficult time. She asked Mary Kay to reduce her sales
quota but the company refused the request. Two months after the birth
of her son, Woolf was too sick to work. She claimed that Mary Kay then
sent her a letter threatening the loss of her job if her sales target
was not met for the current month.
Mary Kay provided testimony that they had lowered
the sales quota for the plaintiff’s team when they learned of her
illness, and that the threatening letter was a mistake. In addition,
they claimed that Woolf was not justified in filing the wrongful
suit since she was an independent
The court ruled that independent contractors have
the same legal protections as employees when discriminationis
practiced related to medical condition.
The two most
frequently alleged issues in disability discrimination are discharge
and reasonable accommodation.
- EEOC FY2002
Office of General Counsel Annual Report
The above book excerpt is from:
Firing Computer Professionals
manager Guide for Terminating "With Cause"