Suit alleges OES fired woman with recurring breast cancer

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jun. 17, 2013, 11:05am

HOUSTON - OES faces a lawsuit from a Spring woman alleging it fired her because she has breast cancer, recent court documents say.

Plaintiff Penny Reilly first sought legal action against her former employer in Harris County District Court last month.

The Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas received the case on June 10.
Reilly explains she previously survived breast cancer approximately four years ago, but was re-diagnosed with the illness in October 2012.

According to the suit, the company tried to get the complainant to reschedule her chemotherapy appointments fearing they will cause her to miss work.

It adds Reilly was told that she had become a "negative and disruptive" influence, stating the reprimand "was really about her cancer and chemotherapy, the ongoing chemotherapy scheduling issues and that she had a good work record up to telling the company about her recurring cancer."

Shortly after the confrontation in question, the plaintiff went on medical leave after she experienced cramping and bleeding.

The original petition further shows OES terminated her on her first day back for supposedly "failing to follow purchase process procedure and other performance failures such as substandard work, policy violations and having a so-called 'attitude problem.'"

OES's purported reason for termination is a pretext for unlawful disability discrimination, the suit says.

Reilly asserts the defendant sought to strip her of insurance coverage as well as improperly invoiced her.

Consequently, she requests the litigation to be expedited.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Michael A. Starzyk of Starzyk & Associates P.C. in The Woodlands is representing Reilly.

Case No. 4:13-CV-1690

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