The New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled 7-0 that a former St. Clare Health System nurse may file a disability discrimination lawsuit against the hospital, according to a recent article at NJ.com.
The case arose after the nurse suffered multiple on the job injuries in 2007, seven years into her employment with the hospital. Between 2007 and 2010 she took about 12 months’ worth of leave time due to her injuries. She claims she was fired from her job in 2010 due to the injuries and the time and attention needed as a result of them.
In 2011, the nurse filed a lawsuit alleging that the hospital had violated New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination. The trial judge in that case, however, granted summary judgment for the hospital, saying that the nurse had failed to demonstrate that she was meeting the hospital’s standards for her job when she was fired.
In 2015, however, an Appellate Court reversed the trial court’s decision, stating that several facts in the case should be considered by a jury. For instance, the court held that a doctor’s note that cleared the nurse to work without limitations represented a fact in dispute in the case.
In 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed with the Appellate Court. “When terminating a disabled employee,” Associate Justice Lee Solomon wrote, “an employer must prove that its standards relate to the employee’s duties and that no reasonable accommodation exists that will allow the employee to continue in their position.”
The nurse has since moved on to a job at a medical rehabilitation facility, where her attorney says she is doing the same sort of work that the hospital claimed she couldn’t do safely when she was fired.
Federal and state laws protect employees who are injured on the job or who have disabilities. An experienced attorney can help workers investigate and establish their claims. At Christopher A. Brown, Counselors at Law, our lawyers strive for quality legal representation with compassion and integrity. Contact us today at 609.344.8270 for a free consultation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.