Breast cancer survivor files disability discrimination lawsuit against former employer

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Mar. 22, 2010, 7:14am

While undergoing chemotherapy treatments to combat breast cancer, a Beaumont woman claims her employer decided she was no longer needed and terminated her.

Alleging her termination was an act of disability discrimination, Elda Sequeira filed a lawsuit against her employer, Senior Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center, on March 15 in the Beaumont division of the Eastern District of Texas.

Sequeira was diagnosed with breast cancer during her employment as an office manager at Senior Nursing Home. She states she managed to work 40-plus hours a week while undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

However, when her employer learned of her illness and treatment, she was demoted to assistant office manager. Further, while she was still in treatment, the plaintiff states she was told that she was no longer needed and terminated from her employment.

"The Defendant's conduct violates the Title VII prohibition against discrimination and retaliation in employment on the basis of a disability," the lawsuit argues.

The plaintiff is seeking actual and compensatory damages for loss of wages and employee benefits, mental anguish, loss to professional reputation, reinstatement or front pay, costs of court, attorney's fees, and interest. Arguing the defendant's actions were committed with malice or a reckless disregard of the consequence, Sequeira is also asking the court to award punitive damages.

Beaumont attorneys E. Hart Green of Weller, Green, Toups & Terrell, L.L.P and John Morgan of Harris, Duesler & Hatfield are representing the plaintiff.

Jury trial is requested. U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield will preside over the litigation.

Case No 1:10cv00153

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