Steffans Legal Achieves Settlement Equal to Two Years of His Client's Earnings in Complex Disability Discrimination Case
The employee in this matter suffered from a rare neurological condition that caused her to suffer from periodic and unpredictable episodes that, occasionally, caused her to be late to work. She always notified her manager when she was going to be late and provided as much notice as possible. Her employer grew increasingly unwilling to allow the client to be late to work when these episodes occurred, and began to write her up for being late to work, despite the fact that she was late because of her disability. Her employer also began to create special rules that only applied to this one employee, clearly designed to find a reason to fire her.
Not surprisingly, the employee was very upset when she first contacted Steffans Legal. She was being bullied, harassed, and mistreated because of her disability. She didn't know what to do. Attorney Steffans worked with this client as she engaged with her employer in the interactive process, a process designed to help identify reasonable accommodations that allow employees suffering from a disability to be able to perform their job duties. Again, the client asked for the need to be late to work occasionally. Again, that request was denied. Attorney Steffans and the client spoke almost daily during this process in an effort to get her the accommodation she needed and deserved. Eventually, the employer made a critical mistake and terminated the employee for using her phone at work, something her colleagues did without being punished. It was clear that the employer made this reason up and that the employer was simply searching for a reason to terminate.
Two weeks after that termination, Attorney Steffans sent a demand letter to the employer highlighting that their conduct violated state and federal laws prohibiting disability discrimination and retaliation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. The employer denied that it had done anything wrong, but couldn't refute the power of the evidence presented in the demand letter. Two weeks after sending the demand letter, Attorney Steffans secured a settlement for his client in an amount approximately equal to two years of her salary.
This client was kind enough to reach out to Attorney Steffans to thank him for his help. You can read those kind words, which she agreed could be shared, below: