Fired Federal Worker Claims Employer Failed Her
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 2, 2006
PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA--A social worker is fighting her employer -- the federal government -- claiming it fired her because it failed to accommodate her disability.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, Cheryl Hewitt's labor union has joined her fight and has filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Hewitt, who writes slowly because of her cerebral palsy, accused the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System of firing her for violating patient confidentiality because she let a cousin help her write down patient information, including the last four digits of Social Security numbers.
Hewitt argued that she had requested equipment that would have allowed her to transcribe names in a timely manner, but that her employer did not provide them until months after her request and after the incident.
Hewitt also said her boss complained that she was not meeting deadlines, so she wrote less detailed notes to complete them sooner. He then complained her notes were not thorough enough. But when she gave more details, she explained, he told her they were too long.
"Firing stirs debate on disability rights" (San Jose Mercury News)