A 63-year-old woman with carpel tunnel syndrome was discriminated against and fired from her job at Pacesetter - St. Jude Medical. She had worked there for 22 years doing small parts assembling in the company’s pacemaker manufacturing unit.
The woman’s carpel tunnel syndrome prevented Alder’s client from doing all but two of the required movements for the assembly work done in her area, but she was still managing to get her work done.
“A new supervisor came in and decided to fire her,” says Alder.
“There were one or two types of manual dexterity movements that hurt her hands and the new supervisor forced her to do these couple of things that bothered her condition,” Alder says.
“She went out on medical leave and had a year’s worth of ups and downs and ultimately they fired her,” says Alder. “If they had just left her doing what she could do, she would have been happy.”
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“They failed to work to find her another job in the company and failed to work together with her to find a solution and reasonably accommodate someone with a disability,” says Alder.
“This is a violation of California labor law,” says Alder. “There are laws to prevent discrimination like this.”
In September 2015, a jury found that Alder’s client could have worked at the plant another five or six years and awarded her $500,000.
“She was thrilled with that outcome,” says Alder.
So, not the most important case that came into the Alder Law Firm last year - but to Alder’s client, it was the most important case in her life.