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Switchboard Operator's Termination Was Discriminatory, Jury Rules
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 31, 2006

WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK--A woman with epilepsy has been awarded $30,000 for pain and suffering and $3,300 in back pay, after a federal grand jury found that her former employer fired her because of her disability.

Christine Michetti was hired to work as a switchboard operator at the Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center of Newburgh in February 2004. The health center fired her just nine days later, shortly after she revealed that she had a seizure disorder.

The health center claimed that Michetti was fired for poor work performance, but failed to provide documentation of performance problems and failed to follow the company's own termination policies and procedures.

The grand jury ruled last Thursday that the Family Health Center violated Michetti's rights under the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, along with the New York State Human Rights Law.

U.S. District Court Judge Lisa M. Smith has yet to rule on punitive damages.

The health center has not indicated whether it would appeal Smith's ruling, according to the Times Herald-Record.

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