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Disabled employee's wrongful termination verdict over $106,000

A local affiliate of the nationally recognized organization Planned Parenthood has been sued for wrongful termination. Although the affiliated office is outside of the Missouri and Kansas area, the implications of the employer's actions and the resulting lawsuit could impact Missouri and Kansas employees.

The wrongful termination incident began almost eight years ago. The wrongful termination arose from an employee termination that was claimed to be based on the employee's degenerative arthritis. The employee was a regional manager, who was diagnosed with the disease that affected her head and neck and required continued medical care. The employee's medical condition affected her work performance as it prevented her from performing all required jobs duties. In the lawsuit, the employee claims her employer chose to terminate her employment instead of make reasonable accommodations available to the employee.

The employer rebutted to the employee's assertion and claimed the employee was terminated due to poor work performance. It is noted, the employee had not received a performance evaluation that was poor and the employer did not conduct an investigation into the situation prior to the employee's termination.

The jury verdict for the employee's wrongful termination lawsuit awarded the employee with over $106,000 in damages. The award represents and award of back pay for $86,000 and an emotional distress award of $20,000. In addition to these damages, the CEO of the Planned Parenthood was required to pay $30,000 in emotional distress damages to the employee. Although the lawsuit took almost eight years to reach a conclusion, due to outside circumstances, the wrongfully terminated employee was able to hold her employer liable for its wrongful act.

Source: The News Tribune, "Planned Parenthood must pay damages to former employee, judge rules," Michelle Dupler, Aug. 2, 2012

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