Gene Johnson May 20, 2016, 5:12pm


PHILADELPHIA – An activities director at a Lutheran ministry is suing her former employer over a claim that she was fired because of her disability.

Marianne Buccello filed a lawsuit on April 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries alleging a violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, with counts including disrimination, retaliation and failure to accommodate.

After being hired as an activities director in June 7, 2004, Buccello was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism in February 2014 and around that time notified Diakon Lutheran that she required a medical leave for 30 days, as ordered by her physician, the suit says.

She eventually returned to work on May 5, 2014, where she was requested and granted the accommodation of restricted working hours due to her disabilities, according to the claim.

According to the claim, Diakon Lutheran did not inform Buccello of her right to take protected intermittent leave under the FMLA as well as failing to provide her with individualized notices, as required by the FMLA.

On or around May 19, 2014, she was fired, with management citing performances issues as the reason for her termination, the suit alleges.

She is seeking lost past earning and future lost earnings, liquidated and/or punitive damages, as well as damages for emotional distress and/or pain and suffering.

Buccello, who is demanding a jury trial, is being represented by attorney Daniel A. Horowitz of Swartz Swidler, L.L.C. of Cherry Hill, N.J.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Court Case number 2:16-cv-02002-HB

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