The School District of Philadelphia has been named as a defendant in a civil suit in which
a would-be employee claims she was denied hiring because of her past history with meningitis.
Diana Jordan, who resides in Philadelphia, claims in her federal complaint that the district violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it refused to offer her employment because of her health history.
The complaint, which was filed March 7 at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by attorneys Richard S. Swartz and Manali Arora, of the Cherry Hill, N.J. firm Swartz Swidler, states that Jordan applied for a position with the district as a school bus aide.
During the interview process, the district inquired as to Jordan’s use of a walking cane, to which the plaintiff responded by disclosing that about six years ago, she had been hospitalized due to meningitis and that since being released from the hospital she required the use of a cane to assist her in walking, the lawsuit states.
Jordan claims that the district flat-out said it would not be hiring her because of her history of meningitis.
The lawsuit states that the plaintiff had been hospitalized with meningitis around 2007, and upon her release in about mid-2008, she was given a cane to help her get around because she suffers from permanent side effects such as arthritis and hydrocephalus.
Jordan, who had worked as a bus aide since the early 1980s, and was “more than qualified for the position,” applied for the position with the Philadelphia School District in November 2010.
In being denied the position, Jordan claims the school district engaged in disability discrimination.
The suit alleges the district violated both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
Jordan seeks to have the defendant prohibited from continuing to maintain its illegal policy of discriminating against employees or prospective employees due to a disability or a record of a disability.
The plaintiff also seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, as well as damages for emotional distress, costs, and attorney’s fees.
The federal case number is 2:13-cv-01214-MSG.