Woman claims unlawful termination

By Annie Cosby | Jan 2, 2015

A Harris County woman is suing over claims she was fired for taking time off work for medical treatment that included a finger amputation.

Benay Carroll filed a lawsuit Oct. 29 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Weatherford International Inc., citing disability discrimination.

According to the complaint, Carroll suffers from scleroderma, a chronic autoimmune disease, and Raynaud’s disease, a rare disorder of the blood vessels that restricts the flow of blood to the skin. The complaint states Carroll was employed by Weatherford International as drug and alcohol compliance supervisor in October 2012 when she developed a hangnail on her left hand and then gangrene, requiring regular visits to her physician in December 2012, which she generally scheduled for before work, after work or during lunch.

Carroll says around Christmas 2012, her physician restricted her from going to work but when Carroll informed her supervisor, Gayla Willis, Willis informed her that she was required to be in the office despite her doctor's restrictions. The complaint states Carroll worked during this period accordingly. According to the complaint, Willis still wrote Carroll up for taking off too much time to visit her physician to treat her medical conditions.

Carroll says that June 11, 2013, she had surgery to have the first joints of the middle and ring fingers of her left hand amputated, so she applied for short-term disability leave. The complaint states she returned to work July, 8, 2013, but on July 22, 2013, only two weeks after she returned from medical leave, she was fired.

Carroll says she has since undergone additional surgeries to remove more bone and tissue from the ring and middle fingers of her left hand. Weatherford International is accused of disability discrimination and violating the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Carroll seeks actual, exemplary and compensatory damages, including attorney fees, interest, back pay, front pay, reinstatement and costs of court. She is represented by attorneys Daryl J. Sinkule and Mark G. Lazarz of Shellist, Lazarz and Slobin in Houston.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number: 4:14-CV-03090

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