Pennsylvania Record

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Former Center for Victims employee alleges she was terminated because of auto accident-related disability

Federal Court

By Charmaine Little | Aug 12, 2019

Discrimination 18

PITTSBURGH – An Allegheny County woman alleges her employer of more than 40 years terminated her because of her disability.

Deborah McManus filed a lawsuit July 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against Center for Victims alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act

The suit states McManus started working as a victim advocate for the defendant in 1976. In 2010 she was in a car accident, sustained a concussion, and was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and vestibular nerve damage, she says. 

She alleges she was out of work for several months has been limited since, including not being able to walk well, having dizzy spells and being sensitive to light. 

When she went back to work, she alleges was green-lighted reasonable accommodations from Stephanie Walsh, the president of the center at the time. One of those accommodations was McManus being able to work from home, the suit states.

In 2012, the suit states the defendant joined with Womansplace Inc. and Laurie MacDonald became the new CEO/president. Two years later, MacDonald allegedly started to ask questions about McManus working from home and told her she should schedule her telecommuting days in advance, which McManus said was unreasonable. McManus alleges MacDonald objected to her remote work other times following.

The plaintiff alleges she was absent from work due to illness on Feb. 2, 2018, and she was terminated the same day.

McManus seeks back and front pay including benefits, as well as general, consequential, compensatory, liquidated and punitive damages, plus medical expenses, and the costs of the lawsuit. The plaintiff is represented by Stember Cohn & Davidson-Welling in Pittsburgh.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania case number 2:19-cv-00890

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