Worker accuses company of disability discrimination

By Robert Hadley | Apr 5, 2016

BECKLEY – A Raleigh County woman is suing her former employer for allegedly firing her after she requested time off for a doctor’s appointment.

Beverly D. Smith filed a lawsuit March 28 in Raleigh Circuit Court against M.R. & Associates Inc., doing business as Visiting Angels of Southern West Virginia, alleging violations of the state Human Rights Act for perceived disability discrimination and failure to reasonably accommodate.

According to the complaint, Smith resigned from her position with the defendant after a two-month medical leave of absence in November and December of 2015, but was rehired the following January. When Smith requested a one-day excused absence for a doctor’s appointment, the suit says her supervisor terminated her employment, stating her absence was unfair to the company and the patients they treated.

Smith seeks a jury trial; an injunction against the defendant banning future discrimination; and reimbursement for back pay and benefits, front pay, and other punitive and compensatory damages in an amount to be determined at trial. She is represented by attorneys Matthew S. Criswell and Mark L. French of Criswell French PLLC in Charleston.

Judge John A. Hutchison is assigned to the case.

Raleigh Circuit Court Case number 16-C-176

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