MCAD – No Probable Cause Found in Disability Discrimination Action

A coffee shop cashier filed an action with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) against her employer alleging that she was discriminated against and wrongfully terminated from her position.  The Complainant argued that once she was diagnosed with thrombocytosis, she gave her employer a copy of her doctor’s note which advised that she remain out of work for several months during treatment.   Once she received medical clearance to return to work on a limited basis, the Complainant alleges that she contacted her employer and agreed to return for a 4-hour shift.  During the shift, the Complainant clashed with the new Assistant Manager and was ultimately told to leave.  The Complainant argued that she believed she was fired as a direct result of her disability and request for accommodation.

Attorney Mayo argued on behalf of the Respondent that the Complainant had been an unreliable employee and had a history of tardiness and absences.  Further the Respondent denied that it ever received a medical note from the Complainant, but nonetheless had been accommodating toward the Complainant when she advised that she could return to work a limited schedule.  The Respondent argued that when she returned for her first shift, the Complainant was defiant and combative toward the new assistant manager.   The Assistant Manager did tell the Complainant to go home and when she failed to return for her next scheduled shift, she was ultimately terminated.

The Complainant applied for unemployment assistance following her departure from the coffee shop, but was denied when she admitted that she left her employment at the coffee shop voluntarily, rather than being fired.

The MCAD Investigating Commission determined that there was insufficient event to support a causal connection between her leave of absence and her alleged termination.  The Commission  issued a finding of Lack of Probable Cause as to any retaliation or discrimination based on Complainant’s disability.