With all the negative publicity that airlines have endured this year because of how they have treated passengers, one would think that they would treat employees better. Based on a recent employmentlawdaily.com report, it appears that one airline may still need some sensitivity training.
A federal jury awarded a discharged employee $1.3 million dollars stemming from an Americans With Disabilities Act claim filed against Delta Airlines. The employee’s complaint alleged that he was denied an accommodation provided through the ADA when he fell ill due to complications from HIV. Specifically, he claimed that Delta’s medical insurance did not provide timely medication.
Also, he was reportedly terminated for missing two days of work despite having a protected excuse for being away from work due to his disability. Essentially, the jury found that he was denied an appropriate accommodation and was wrongfully terminated. It found that Delta’s actions were “knowing and reckless” which allowed the jury to award punitive damages in the amount of $800,000.
It is unknown whether Delta will appeal the verdict or the damages awarded. Nevertheless, the story is an example of why it is important to have an experienced employment law attorney to review termination actions for possible wrongful conduct. An aggrieved employee may be entitled to lost wages, including front pay and back pay, along with punitive damages for especially egregious conduct.
If you have questions about ADA accommodation issues or wrongful termination, an experienced Southern California employment law attorney can advise you.
The preceding is presented for informational purposes only and is not a predictor of future outcomes in wrongful termination cases.