Woman says she was fired after 'manic episodes'

Annie Cosby Dec. 22, 2014, 8:46am


A Hardin County woman is suing over claims she was fired after her employer failed to accommodate her medical condition, which includes "manic episodes."

Elizabeth Gorris filed a lawsuit Oct. 10 in Jefferson County District Court against Art Museum of Southeast Texas.

According to the complaint, in 2005, Gorris began working for the defendant as the assistant to the director, who was fully aware of Gorris' medical condition, which included "manic episodes" that could be accommodated by someone taking her home or to a less stressful environment. Gorris says on June 21, 2013, she had an episode and instead of defusing the situation, the defendant allowed it to escalate, creating a pretext by which to terminate Gorris.

The lawsuit states Gorris received a notice of termination shortly after the incident, citing verbal threats and improper comments. The defendant is accused of deliberately failing to take action during the episode in order to create a pretext for termination or, alternatively, discriminating against the plaintiff by choosing to use the incident as justification for termination despite being aware that the escalation of the situation was caused by employee inaction.

Gorris seeks actual and punitive damages, including lost wages and benefits, costs of court and attorney fees. She is represented by attorney John Werner of Reaud, Morgan and Quinn in Beaumont.

Jefferson County District Court case number: D-196252

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