[Nfbnet-members-list] Blind Woman Sues California Hospital for Employment Discrimination
CDanielsen at nfb.org
Fri Jul 27 01:26:50 UTC 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Blind Woman Sues California Hospital for Employment Discrimination
National Federation of the Blind Assisting in Litigation
San Francisco, California (July 26, 2018): Alina Sorling worked for
ten years as a food service technician at Mercy Medical Center in
Redding, California until she went blind from an illness. After
successful rehabilitation in which she learned to manage her home and
perform the duties of her job as a blind person, she sought
reasonable accommodations from her employer to return to work.
Instead, she was fired.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Ms. Sorling
have filed suit in the federal District Court for the Northern
District of California, alleging that Dignity Health, the parent
company of Mercy Medical Center, unlawfully discriminated against Ms.
Sorling, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and other
federal and state laws. The National Federation of the Blind, the
nation's leading advocate for the equal employment of blind people,
is aiding in the litigation.
Ms. Sorling's lawsuit alleges that she was fired because she did not
meet a new vision requirement that Dignity Health claims applies to
its food service technicians. Yet, the suit alleges, Ms. Sorling's
vision was never tested in all the time she worked for the hospital,
nor has such a vision requirement been applied to other food service
"Today marks the twenty-eighth anniversary of the signing of the
Americans with Disabilities Act," said Mark Riccobono, President of
the National Federation of the Blind. "Yet we still find employers
discriminating against the blind, basing their decisions on fears
rather than on facts. Many blind people work in food service jobs
every day, using the kinds of reasonable accommodations that Dignity
Health did not even consider before firing an employee with ten years
of service. Alina Sorling's capabilities have not changed; only her
vision has. We will fight for her rights, her dignity, and her
ability to do the work she is qualified to do and live the life she wants."
"My termination has been a severe blow to me, not only financially
but also emotionally," said Alina Sorling. "I have worked hard to be
an asset to my employer. It is unfortunate that my former employer
could not see the value that I brought to my work."
Ms. Sorling is represented by Timothy Elder of the TRE Legal Practice
of Freemont, CA, and Scott C. Labarre of LaBarre Law offices of Denver.
About the National Federation of the Blind
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), headquartered in
Baltimore, is the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind
Americans. Founded in 1940, the NFB consists of affiliates, chapters,
and divisions in the fifty states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico.
The NFB defends the rights of blind people of all ages and provides
information and support to families with blind children, older
Americans who are losing vision, and more. We believe in the hopes
and dreams of blind people and work together to transform them into
reality. Learn more about our many programs and initiatives at
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
<mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>cdanielsen at nfb.org
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