Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Surprised If This One Stands - Smoker Sensitivity Disability Worth $5 Million

Disability cases are often sympathetic if they get to a jury, witness this report from HRNext, Employee Awarded $5.27M in Disability Suit:. More often cases don't get that far as they get knocked out on legal grounds. Although I don't know the details of New York's disability law, I would be surprised if this verdict stands on the disability claim. Certainly, the folks at Elite Model Management hope it doesn't! Pretty expensive stuff for an employee who only worked 7 months and based on the report seems to have been fired for complaining about others smoking. Certainly this award seems supportive of Mayor Bloomberg's strict smoking ordinance!

Update: A more complete story from Newsday makes it clearer that it was really a retaliation case, which is often the case. Also a substantial portion of the award is punitive damages.


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