University of Texas Health Science Center, University Health Science Center at Tyler, and the Center for Clinical Research are facing a lawsuit from former employee, Debra Ellen Cohen, who claims they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not providing equipment to accommodate her disability. (Case No. 6:11-cv-00650)

The ADA  requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee  with a disability, unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer.  A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment to help a person with a disability perform the duties of a job, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment.

According to Cohen, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, she requested an accommodation that included voice recognition software that would alleviate the need for her to type as much.  But, instead of granting her request she was demoted and then terminated shortly after her request.  Her rheumatoid arthritis  primarily affects her smaller joints, e.g., her hands and feet, substantially limited a number of major life activities, including typing.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages for back pay and employment benefits, interest on back pay, front pay and future economic benefits, pecuniary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, interest, and attorney’s fees.

If you have suffered discrimination or wrongful termination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact California Employment Attorney, Todd M. Friedman for a free consultation.