A longtime CVS employee with cerebral palsy is being forced out of her job by a new manager who told her she’s a “burden” to the company, according to a Brooklyn federal lawsuit.
“She’s come so far,” lawyer Justin Marino said of his client, plaintiff Dana Paladino, noting that she struggles with her disability every day yet has had nothing but perfect reviews in the 15 years she’s worked in the pharmacy department for the company’s location.
But Paladino, who is in her late 30s, is now being pushed out by a heartless higher-up, her suit says.
“Plaintiff’s physical limitations were never an issue until May of 2017, when CVS hired Michelle Richards as the Lead Technician to work in the pharmacy,” according to the suit.
“Richards, displeased with Plaintiff’s physical handicap, told Plaintiff in or about July 2017 that ‘either you’re going to quit, or I’m going to get you fired.’ Richards has been working towards that goal ever since,” the suit says.
Richards, 52, allegedly worked Paladino, who gets around using arm crutches, so hard that the woman’s foot literally split open, according to court papers.
When Paladino returned with a doctor’s note limiting her movement, Richards allegedly mocked her, saying she has “asthma’’ and should get a physician’s excuse to get out of work, too.
Since Paladino’s foot injury, her hours have been repeatedly slashed, which puts her at risk for losing health insurance, according to the lawsuit.
Paladino also has been forced to shuttle between stores and told to work nights, despite the company knowing she had poor vision in the dark, her suit says. When she spoke out about the changes, her lawyer says, she was told her inability to work nights was a “preference,” not a disability.
The suit charges discrimination and requests unspecified damages.
A CVS spokesman responded in a statement: “We dispute the allegations. “Since the beginning of [Paladino’s] employment at CVS, we have provided her with accommodations, and we continue to do so.”
Richards did not return a request for comment.
Original Source: NY Post