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Wrongful termination cited in suit against Hunterdon County

A lawsuit claiming wrongful termination was recently filed against Hunterdon County, its public safety director and others at Superior Court in Flemington, New Jersey. The suit alleges that the wrongful termination occurred when the county fired a man in December 2009 after it was discovered he had a seizure disorder which qualified as a disability under New Jersey law.

The man was employed as the county's deputy emergency management coordinator since 2006. When hired, the man did not believe his disorder would impact his employment duties and he was not asked to identify himself as a person with disabilities, the lawsuit documents said. He had a physical prior to beginning work in which he answered all questions asked of him.

While returning from a conference in May 2009 the man suffered a seizure after work hours. The employer subsequently learned about the medical event and suspended the employee after an informal hearing. The man claims that although his disability is recognized under state law, the county made no effort to accommodate him after learning of his disability. A formal hearing was held in August resulting in his dismissal. The county claims the man lied during his medical examination.

The matter will now proceed to discovery and the suit will move through the state courts. The man is seeking to recover for lost and future wages and other compensatory damages, as well as punitive damages and the costs of prosecuting the lawsuit. Tthe law provides monetary damages for those that suffer wrongful termination through the illegal actions of an employer. A New Jersey attorney seasoned in handling claims of discrimination in the workplace may offer hope to victims seeking justice.

Source: nj.com, "Former Hunterdon county employee files disability discrimination suit," Lillian Shupe, Aug. 20, 2011

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