Millions of people in America, including many in Colorado, go through life-and-death medical struggles every year. In some cases these types of issues can have a serious impact on a person's employment. If a medical problem leaves an employee with a disability, or even if the employee is perceived to have a disability due to medical issues, the Americans with Disabilities Act provides certain protections from employment-based discrimination. According to a recent story, a waitress who underwent brain surgery last year may be invoking these protections in her employment discrimination claim.
The story indicates that the waitress, who was employed by a Hooters restaurant in a suburban area, attempted to return to her employment after a brain surgery to remove a noncancerous mass from her head. Apparently the problem was that she was required to shave her head for the surgery, and her employers were not very accepting of this woman returning to work with a buzz-cut and a scar on her head. The woman claims she was informed that she could not return to her position of employment without wearing a wig, which she attempted to do. However, that didn't last long because the woman reportedly thought the wig was interfering with the scar healing on her head. The situation eventually devolved into the employer cutting back the waitress' hours, which then led the woman to quit.
It appears that this claim will move forward at least in part due to alleged violations of the ADA. This type of discrimination is probably a disturbing sight for many Colorado workers who believe that their employer would be nothing but supportive during and after this type of medical crisis.
There are many different ways for an employer to discriminate against an employee. Federal laws are in place to protect against many forms of discrimination, but unfortunately incidents like those that the waitress in this story experienced still take place. When discrimination does occur in the workplace, the employer needs to be held accountable.
Source: BND.com, "Suit: Hooters waitress forced out after surgery," April 7, 2013