No Probable Cause Found in Discrimination / Retaliation Case

Attorney Courtney Mayo obtained a finding of no probable cause from the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) in a claim for discrimination and retaliation brought by an account manager at a small manufacturing company.

The Complainant alleged that her employer and the job placement company she used to obtain employment discriminated against her on the basis of disability and then retailiated by terminating her when she asked for accommodations. At the time of hire, approximately 20-30% of the Complainant’s duties included shipping and receiving which required her to lift and move boxes. Several weeks after hire, the Complainant was diagnosed with scoliolis and advised by her doctors not to lift more than ten pounds.

The Complainant requested accommodations and that another employee take over the lifting portion of her job. However, the manufacturing company was very small with only two employees, including the Complainant, in the office. Shifting the lifting requirement to the other employee (General Manager) was not a possibility. As a result of her inability to perform her duties, the Complainant was terminated.

Attorney Mayo argued that the Complainant knew about and agreed to the lifting requirement at the time of hire. Attorney Mayo also argued that the Complainant’s request for accommodations was not reasonable as she was unable to perform essential functions of the position. Further, Attorney Mayo argued that no retaliation existed and that the Respondents simply could not grant the Complaint’s request for accommodations as same would have created an undue hardship on the small business.

The MCAD investigating commission determined there was a lack of probable cause with regard to Complainant’s charges of discrimination and retaliation against the Respondents. The action was dismissed.