Woman alleges former employer wouldn't accommodate her disability

By Annie Cosby | Oct 8, 2014

BECKLEY – A Raleigh County woman is suing over claims she was forced to quit her job when her employer allegedly failed to accommodate her disability.

Debra Conn filed a lawsuit Aug. 15 in Raleigh Circuit Court against Beckley Health Partners and Stephanie O'Dell, citing the West Virginia Human Rights Act.

According to the complaint, Conn was employed as a resident assistant by Beckley Health Partners, under supervisor Stephanie O'Dell, and had a disability that prevented her from working shifts longer than eight hours. Conn says she also believed long shifts endangered patients, and she was known to advocate for the safety of and conditions provided to patients.

The complaint states BHP failed to reasonably accommodate Conn's disability, forcing Conn to choose between following her doctor's orders or her employment, effectively constituting constructive discharge.

The defendants are accused of disability discrimination/failure to accommodate a disability, and violating the Patient Safety Act.

Conn is represented by attorneys Mark A. Atkinson and Paul L. Frampton Jr. of Atkinson and Polak in Charleston.

Raleigh Circuit Court case number 14-C-814-K

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