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Nurse settles discrimination, retaliation lawsuit

Milwaukee is home to several hospitals recognized nationally for quality of care. Though health care facilities are dedicated to healing, some need to repair their own unhealthy work environments. Workers are far too often subjected to various forms of abuse by supervisors and colleagues - and then subjected to unlawful retaliation after reporting harassment or discrimination.

We read recently of a hospital nurse who was subjected to discrimination and retaliation after - ironically - she experienced health problems at work.

The nurse was diagnosed with a seizure disorder, and in 2014 she suffered a seizure while working at a Georgia hospital. In a lawsuit she filed against her former employer, she said that after the incident and her return to work, some co-workers began to exhibit hostility towards her. Their animosity eventually compelled her to take unpaid leave.

She was then informed that she could not return to her job in the cardiac outpatient department, but would instead be assigned to other duties at "a significant reduction in pay."

She was eventually assigned as a nurse educator in the hospital's Diabetes Management Center. She said in her suit that the mistreatment continued there. While the other nurse educators received work stations, she was relegated to an old laptop and a makeshift "work station" in a storage room.

About six months later, she suffered another seizure, but was again cleared by a doctor to return to work. This time, she was informed that she had been terminated.

Though the hospital denied her allegations, it agreed to an undisclosed settlement of her lawsuit filed in federal court.

Wisconsin health care workers who suffer demotion or wrongful termination after reporting discrimination, harassment or denial of FMLA rights can speak with a skilled employment law attorney at Alan C. Olson & Associates about their legal options.

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