HOUSTON – A Harris County woman is suing a Delaware-based insurance company for alleged disability discrimination.
Sandra Moore of Houston filed a complaint on April 9 in U.S. District Court's Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against the Travelers Companies, of Texas, for alleged violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The plaintiff, hired by the defendant in 1999, was employed by the company for more than 13 years. According to the lawsuit, after a family tragedy in 2009, Moore began to suffer from depression that was severe enough to require Family and Medical Leave Act time off. She alleges that following her return to work, her formerly cordial relationship with her manager became tense, contributing to a hostile work environment.
Moore, who also struggles with bipolar disorder, took intermittent leave thereafter; the complaint cites that her manager began to assign her excessive amounts of work in retaliation. Although the manager was reprimanded for her behavior, she continued to overload the plaintiff.
When Moore’s disabilities triggered seizures in summer 2011, she was hospitalized and placed on short-term disability leave. According to court documents, the plaintiff asked for a transfer to another position in May 2012 due to the difficulty of her increased workload, but was refused; was thereafter required to train new employees; and was supposedly made to work on weekends and other off hours.
By late November 2012, Moore claims, she was given an unfavorable work performance warning despite having recently received a raise and two awards. During a Nov. 28, 2012, meeting, she suffered a severe seizure; was hospitalized for two weeks; and felt she had no choice but to leave her job because of intolerable conditions, the lawsuit states.
Alleging that the manager habitually discriminated against both disabled and African-American workers, Moore cites racial discrimination, disability-based harassment and retaliation, and the defendant’s refusal to provide reasonable accommodations, all in violation of the ADA.
The plaintiff seeks: back and front pay; compensatory and punitive damages; pre- and post-judgment interest; attorney’s fees; expenses; and costs. Moore is represented by Terrence Robinson and Monica Nunez-Garza of Kennard, Blankenship and Robinson in Houston.
U.S. District Court's Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case no. 4:15-CV-00939