Hospital Fired Employee Due to Rare Brain Condition and Surgery Employee Charges in Federal Lawsuit
DENVER, COLORADO, UNITED STATES, June 30, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Children’s Hospital of Colorado intentionally and unlawfully discriminated against Kristie Richardson, a Mental Health Counselor with over nine years of outstanding performance, because of her disability and brain surgery for Chiari I Malformation, a rare congenital condition involving the brain’s cerebellum, charged Richardson in a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.
According to Richardson’s lawsuit, she had brain surgery on July 31, 2017, and her physician ordered her to take 12-weeks leave from the date of surgery to recover. The Hospital denied Richardson’s medically supported, reasonable requests for any leave beyond October 13, 2017, including her request for leave until October 23. While Richardson was on leave, the Hospital threatened her that it would fire her and require her to repay insurance premiums if she did not return to work before the end of October 2017. Children’s Hospital fired Richardson on October 13, 2017, leaving her without any insurance coverage. Ms. Richardson’s husband is disabled, she is the mother of four children, and the primary financial provider for her family.
While Richardson was on leave, she had been promoted to Senior Mental Health Counselor. The Hospital cancelled this promotion when she was fired. Kristie Richardson, after her firing, complained to the Hospital about the way it treated her knowing of her disability and her recent brain surgery. Six days after Richardson’s firing, the Hospital posted her prior position as an open position for hire. Richardson applied for her prior position because she was eligible for rehire and her physician cleared her to return to work with no restrictions as of October 24, 2017. Children’s Hospital neither interviewed nor hired Richardson for her prior position.
Kristie Richardson’s lawsuit alleges she was discriminated against because of her disability, denied reasonable workplace accommodations, threatened, and retaliated against for making protected complaints, all actions in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Attorney Steven L. Murray commented, “Adverse employment actions based on disability and the failure to make reasonable accommodations to an employee’s disability are unlawful employment actions under the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
Kristie Richardson filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado [Richardson v. Children’s Hospital Colorado, Civil Action No. 1:21-cv-01739-KLM]. Richardson’s lawsuit seeks damages for emotional suffering, back pay and related financial losses, punitive damages, reinstatement or in the alternative, front pay, plus attorneys’ fees and costs.
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