Court shuts down case alleging retaliation for complaining about coworker’s disability benefits
Recently, a woman filed a lawsuit alleging retaliation for bringing up claims of reverse discrimination at her workplace. The plaintiff, Shajuana Ingram, was apparently upset at the preferential treatment that a coworker with a special needs child was receiving. Ingram claims that when she complained about the situation, she was fired as retaliation. She then brought a suit against her employer alleging violations under the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as illegal termination by retaliation.
There are several things wrong with this case. First of all, the Americans with Disabilities Act prevents discrimination against individuals with disabilities, but does not contain any provision that could form a basis for an employee to claim discrimination due to lack of disability. Therefore Ingram’s lawsuit lacked a cause of action for any reverse disability claim.
Secondly, complaining about another employee’s legal entitlements or protections is not the sort of protected activity that can serve as the basis of a retaliation claim. Employers are only prohibited from taking undeserved negative job action against an employee as punishment for protected activities such as whistleblowing, making good faith harassment or discrimination complaints, or exercising rights to workers comp or disability.
With no legal basis for her claims, the court quickly shut down Ingram’s case, granting a summary judgment due to no cause for action on either the reverse discrimination or retaliation questions.
One has to wonder where Ingram found her lawyer and what they were thinking. Of course, we do not have access to all the facts of the case, but it does seem to have been an ill-advised and perhaps opportunistic move.
This just goes to show that if you feel you have grounds for an employment law case, it is extremely important to consult an experienced and reputable employment law attorney such as George G. Romain who can assist you in the preparation of a strong case. Not only will George G. Romain help you to gather the evidence needed to support your position, he will also ensure that your legal arguments are constructed wisely and your claims are filed pursuant to the correct legal statutes.
Not sure if your claim would be in good faith or not? George G. Romain offers free initial phone consultations to help you understand the merits of your case in broad strokes. And because he accepts cases on a contingency fee basis and doesn’t get paid unless you do, you know he won’t encourage you in any frivolous or ill-advised lawsuits.