HOUSTON – A salon franchise chain is alleged to have retaliated and discriminated against an employee because she requested a reasonable accommodation for her disability.
Tiffany Almanza filed a complaint on Sept. 12 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against Regis Corp. alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Chapter 21 of the Texas Labor Code.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff began working for the defendant in 2001 as a hairstylist and was promoted multiple times.
The suit states in December 2016, she was the victim of a violent crime, which caused her to experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. She alleges she requested leave in January 2017 under the Family and Medical Leave Act and it was granted. She alleges the extension she requested in February 2017 was approved through April.
The suit states in April 2017, without first conferring with the plaintiff, the defendant sent her a letter informing her that she was granted additional unpaid leave under its medical leave of absence policy through April 2018, which exceeded her request.
The plaintiff holds Regis Corp. responsible because the defendants allegedly discriminated and retaliated against her by forcing her into a yearlong period of unpaid leave after she requested reasonable accommodation for her disability.
The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks compensatory and punitive damages, plus interest, attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses and all other relief to which she may be justly entitled. She is represented by Colleen Mulholland and Anna Bocchini of Equal Justice Center in San Antonio and Lucia Ostrom and Jennifer Vickers of Disability Rights Texas in Houston.
Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number 4:18-cv-03251