A Pennsylvania worker is suing a major U.S. business in Allegheny County on charges of civil rights violation in her 2014 employment status, involving allegations of extreme hostility from a co-worker which she claims went unanswered. 

Laura Simone of Aliquippa sued Xerox Corp. of Pittsburgh in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania Sept. 30, claiming infringement of the Americans with Disabilities Act following her February 2014 medical leave.

According to the complaint, Simone was employed by the defendant beginning in 1998 and had an exemplary record. Prior to her disability leave, she was earning more than $100,000 annually including sales commissions. 

The suit states that she incurred spinal problems, accompanied by depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, which required medical leave. As of the time of the filing, Simone is still on leave.

The plaintiff argues that her symptoms have been exacerbated by harassment from a co-worker who allegedly sent intimidating text messages from a phone issued by the defendant—which she contends included threats to her life—from May through June 2014, despite Simone having filed a restraining order. The most recent threat was recorded on May 26, the complaint states.

Claiming that the defendant has created a hostile work environment while she is still on leave; and that she was forced to file harassment charges when the defendant failed to act on the co-worker’s alleged behavior, Simone states that she wants to return to work but is unable under the extreme circumstances, due to the company’s negligence.

The plaintiff seeks itemized monetary compensation of more than $75,000 for lost wages and benefits, punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney’s fees, and court costs. The plaintiff is represented by Christi Wallace of Kraemer, Manes & Associates of Pittsburgh.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania 2:15-cv-01277-NBF

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