Fall 2006 - This is a complaint against the RI Commission of Human Rights for utter incompetence. After working 3 years at one establishment and having received the highest bonuses for work production each year I became sick with "shingles". "shingles" is an excruciatingly painful condition due to the reactivation of the chickenpox virus I had as a kid. My doctor wanted me to take 4 weeks out of work.
Five days after giving my employer the doctor's note I was fired. I filed a complaint with the Commission. I pointed out to them that my employer was also being investigated for non payment of overtime to the hourly paid employees and that she blamed me for this coming to the attention of the Dept and Labor, hence returning to my job would constitute going into a hostile work environment. I was never interviewed by the commission. I was on state disability. The ruling was that there was no discrimination under the ADA because my illness caused undue hardship to the business. I asked to see what documents or evidence that was presented to the commission for them to come to this determination. They ignored my request.
I also informed them that there were other employees
at the business that were perfectly capable of doing my work and their refusal
to do the job was not a valid reason to say the business suffered undue
hardship. I later learned that a temp was hired to do my work, thus saving
my former employer paying benefits and payroll taxes. I brought this to
the commission's attention and again no response. I then contacted the
regional EEOC office in Boston to complain and the response from them was that
it was policy to simple endorse the findings of the state agency.
Now not only is this an example of gross governmental incompetence and injustice but now a precedence has been made that an employer in RI can fire an ill or disabled employee without even trying to make accommodations under the ADA by simply saying that it would cause undue hardship. This defeats the purpose of the American with Disabilities Act and makes it completely ineffectual and un-enforced by RI State agencies. Sincerely, John B. Dennigan