Female Scientist Sues Employer For Allegedly Refusing To Let Her Work Remotely After Crash That Killed Her Son

by Gee NY
Attorney Venese M. Morgan of the Law Office of Venese M. Morgan, LLC | The Law Office of Venese M. Morgan, LLC | Facebook

In a federal lawsuit filed against Abbott Laboratories, Meiko Thompson, a Black scientist based in Louisiana, alleges racial discrimination and violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The lawsuit comes in the wake of Abbott’s refusal to accommodate Thompson’s remote work requests following a serious car crash in November 2021 that left her neurologically disabled and tragically claimed the life of her child.

According to the complaint obtained by Atlanta Black Star, Thompson began experiencing chronic, debilitating headaches in the year following the accident.

A neurologist diagnosed her with a concussion without loss of consciousness, sequela, and occipital neuritis.

In light of her medical condition, Thompson’s doctor recommended remote work, explaining that such accommodations were crucial for her given the neurological disability diagnosis.

Instead of accommodating the remote work request, Abbott Laboratories proposed an alternative arrangement – reduced work hours.

However, this option would have resulted in the termination of Thompson’s medical insurance.

The lawsuit points out that Thompson’s two white colleagues, who do not have disabilities, are allowed to work remotely as Certifying Scientists.

Alleging racial discrimination, Thompson contends that Abbott’s refusal to grant her remote work accommodation disproportionately affected her as a Black employee with a disability.

The lawsuit further claims that Abbott Laboratories made racially insensitive remarks, with the site director reportedly making comments about “angry Black women” who are Certifying Scientists after Thompson filed a complaint with Abbott’s Office of Ethics and Compliance.

Thompson is seeking damages for severe emotional distress and mental anguish, a trial by jury, attorneys’ fees, and additional demands outlined in the lawsuit.

The case underscores the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities, particularly when racial disparities come into play, and highlights the importance of equitable workplace accommodations.

Abbott Laboratories has not yet responded publicly to the allegations, and the legal proceedings are set to unfold in federal court.

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