Family Dollar sued for firing assistant manager with asthma

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Aug. 25, 2010, 4:12am

TYLER-A Texas resident has sued a discount retailer, claiming she was terminated because of her asthma.

Frances Pinson filed suit against Family Dollar Stores of Texas LLC on Aug. 23 in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division.

According to the original complaint, Pinson was hired by Family Dollar in September 2007 as a cashier and was later promoted to assistant manager.

Pinson claims that at time she was hired, she informed her manager that she suffered from asthma but could perform the essential functions of her job.

However, the plaintiff alleges the store manager regarded Pinson as disabled, stating on one occasion, "I'm afraid I'm going to come in and find you dead."

In June 2008, Pinson and another employee were assigned to empty the freight in the warehouse while the store manager was on vacation.

Due to a number of reasons, unrelated to Pinson's health, the employees were unable to accomplish the task, according to the complaint.

When the manager returned from vacation, Pinson was terminated. Pinson states that she was told, "Your asthma isn't allowing you to do the job." The other employee was not terminated.

The defendant is accused of terminating Pinson's employment because of her perceived disability, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for back pay, front pay, lost benefits, compensatory damages including recovery for mental and emotional distress, punitive damages, court costs and attorney's fees.

Pinson is represented by R.S. Ghio of the Law Office of R.S. Ghio in Arlington. Jury trial requested.

Case No. 6:10cv00438

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