A federal court jury trial has been scheduled for June 19, 2017 in a case involving alleged Disability and Family Medical Leave Act discrimination against local luxury car dealership Dryer & Reinbold.  (Edson v. Dryer & Reinbold, Inc., 1:15-cv-0861-TWP-MJD.)

 

The Plaintiff, Karla Edson, was employed by Dryer & Reinbold for 9 years.  In April, 2015, Mrs. Edson had a stroke while at work.  After returning to work only days later, Mrs. Edson claims that, instead of being met with the compassion and understanding that she expected, she was instead hassled and harassed about needing time off from work for required therapy and follow-up doctors’ appointments.

 

When Mrs. Edson approached the General Manager, Brian Gauker, about only being able to work 40 hours per week due to her therapy appointments, Mr. Gauker told her: “Well, you know, the owner would want us to be. . .compassionate in these situations but we still have to run a business. . .And besides that, you know, you’re going to have all these other employees that are going, well, how come she only has to work 40 hours a week and I can’t just work 40 hours a week.”  Mrs. Edson replied: “Well, tell them to have a stroke and then they’ll qualify for 40 hours a week.”

 

Less than one month after suffering her stroke, still unsteady on her feet, but continuing to work full-time, Mrs. Edson came to work with a walker after her doctors determined it to be necessary.  She was promptly called into her supervisor’s office and fired the same day.

 

Dryer & Reinbold claims that it was reorganizing and the timing of Mrs. Edson’s termination as it related to her stroke and use of a walker was a coincidence and perfectly legal.  Mrs. Edson’s attorneys, Daniel L. Kent and Mary Jane Lapointe of Lapointe Law Firm, point out, however, that despite Dryer & Reinbold’s defense, the alleged reorganization consisted of nothing more than firing Mrs. Edson.

 

Attorney Kent states:  “Mrs. Edson was an excellent employee who suffered a catastrophic medical problem but came right back to work.  We allege, and we intend to prove at trial, that Mrs. Edson was fired because she no longer fit the company image when she became disabled and needed to use a walker.  We believe that what the company did is reprehensible—they kicked her when she was down.”

 

A copy of the lawsuit and the Court’s summary judgment decision are publically available or can be provided by Mrs. Edson’s attorneys upon request.