Teacher with epilepsy alleges disability discrimination

Kasey Schefflin-Emrich Sep. 30, 2015, 1:00pm


A Pottstown woman is suing a Chester County school district, alleging it engaged in unlawful employment practices.

Jody McMahon of Pottstown filed a lawsuit Aug. 20 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the Owen J. Roberts School District, also of Pottstown alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

According to the complaint, McMahon began working for the defendant as a teacher in August 2008. The suit states after she was diagnosed with epilepsy in January 2014 the district began treating her differently than other similarly situated employees, failed to maintain her confidentially with regards to her disability and failed to provide her with reasonable accommodations.

McMahon requested to use the bathroom on an emergency basis, the suit says, and because this request wasn't met, McMahon had numerous bladder and bowel function accidents in front of her students.

The plaintiff contends the defendant's actions were done willfully and in reckless disregard for her rights and she experienced severe emotional and psychological distress as a result.

McMahon seeks compensatory damages, injunctive relief directing the defendant to stop all further discriminatory or retaliatory conduct and provide reasonable accommodation, attorney fees and costs of suit, and other relief deemed appropriate by the court. She is represented by attorney Brendan D. Hennessy of Hennessy Law in Malvern.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number 2:15-cv-04753-JCJ.

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