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Woman Sues Mayo Clinic on Disability Discrimination Claim

A woman who formerly worked at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota has filed a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act against the hospital in federal court. The lawsuit alleges one violation under the Americans with Disabilities Act and another under the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

The woman formerly worked at the well known hospital from February 1991 to September 2007. She worked as a secretary in the lab medicine and pathology department. According to the lawsuit, sometime over her employment she was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and that during her employment the woman claims the hospital discriminated against her because of her mental health state. The woman claims that Mayo Clinic approved a period of leave time under the Family Medical Leave Act but when the woman returned the hospital terminated her. The Family Medical Leave Act provides job protected leave to eligible employees for certain medical reasons.

The woman also claims she was discriminated against under the Minnesota Human Rights Act which is a state specific law that enhances the rights of state citizens beyond federal law. The lawsuit seeks damages of $75,000 or more in compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney fees.

A Mayo clinic spokesperson responded to the news of the lawsuit by saying the hospital was not aware of it and had not been served with the lawsuit yet. The spokesperson went on to say that claims filed by the woman with the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights were dismissed because of a lack of merit.

Source: Post-Bulletin, "Disability Discrimination Case Filed Against Mayo Clinic," Jeff Hansel, 12/23/10

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