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U.S. Representative Sued for Disability Discrimination

July 22, 2011

A U.S. Representative is being sued in a disability discrimination lawsuit development that our California employment attorneys have been following, after a former employee claims she was denied reasonable accommodation in the workplace for her disability.

According to the lawsuit, Mona Floyd was hired in 2010 as legislative director and chief counsel for Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, (D-Texas), with the assurance that her disability needs would be accommodated. Floyd claims that Jackson Lee had known about her disability since 2006, when she began working for the congresswoman. After Floyd was hired to the new position in 2010, Jackson Lee's then chief of staff reportedly assured Floyd that her reasonable accommodations would be honored.

Floyd suffers from the visual disability called monocular vision, which causes eye fatigue, headaches, strain, making her read 20 to 30 percent slower than the average person. Floyd's reading speed is also reduced if she is not given an proper chance to rest her eyes throughout the workday, as the eye fatigue causes reduced comprehension and concentration, as well as physical fatigue.

Jackson Lee, is known for publicly supporting the Americans with Disabilities Act, the federal act that prohibits disability discrimination in the workplace. Under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), employers must reasonably accommodate the known mental or physical limitations of a disabled individual, applicant or employee who is qualified for the job--unless accommodating the disabled employee would cause undue hardship to employer's business operations.

The lawsuit claims that after taking the job, Floyd was assigned such massive quantities of reading that she had to work from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. to keep up with the workload. After approaching Jackson Lee twice about her disability, Floyd claims that she was dismissed and insulted by the congresswoman on both occasions. Jackson Lee reportedly stated that she didn't care about Floyd's disability, and when giving her more work, would taunt her about the amount of time it would take for her to finish the reading.

Floyd claims Representative Jackson Lee's refusal to provide reasonable accommodations for a member of her own staff proves that the congresswoman is not a true advocate for disabled employees, and is merely "paying lip service" to the disabled constituency. Floyd states in the lawsuit that the work conditions were so intolerable that she resigned, so as not have to continue suffering the physical and mental harm.

Floyd is seeking front and back pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages as well as lawyer fees and costs.

In the City of Costa Mesa, California, contact our attorneys at Howard Law, PC today.

Jackson Lee Sued for Discrimination, The Right Perspective, July 17, 2011

Jackson Lee accused of bias? Astonishing, Houston Chronicle, July 26, 2011

Disabled ex-aide sues Jackson Lee, The Washington Times, July 10, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Facts About the Americans with Disabilities Act

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC)

Related Blog Posts:

Verizon's Class Action Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Settles for $20 Million, California Employment Lawyers Blog, July 11, 2011

BP One Stop Sued For Discriminating Against Disabled Employee, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 16, 2011

AutoZone to Pay $600K for Disability Discrimination and Failure to Accommodate, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 10, 2011

Starbucks Sued for Dwarfism and Disability Discrimination, California Employment Lawyers Blog, June 8, 2011

EEOC Latex Disability Lawsuit Settled--John Muir Pays Workers $340K, California Employment Lawyers Blog, March 17, 2011