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The hospital was sued by a former customer service specialist who claims she had to resign after they failed to stop her co-worker’s usage of perfumes that gave her asthma attacks.
She claims that HR ignored her requests to be moved, and called her a liability to the office.
Laurie Stanton began working at Lancaster General Hospital in 2007 in their customer service department. She says that she performed her job in a satisfactory manner at all times.
As an asthma sufferer, Stanton thought working in the pulmonary practice’s building would be the perfect fit. They prohibited perfumes, colognes and other fragrances due to the sensitivities of the patients.
Despite this, Stanton says she frequently suffered asthma attacks due to co-workers scents and fragrances, having to use her rescue inhaler multiple times each week after not having needed it for years, according to the complaint. She says that HR refused to move her to a specific desk she felt would alleviate her symptoms, although they did move her several time in an attempt to deal with the issue.
According to the complaint, Stanton says she was told, “You need to sop blowing your mouth off in this office about you asthma,” by a manager, and was asked if she had ever considered applying for disability. She was also told, “You look terrible right now. You’re having breathing problems right now, aren’t you?” according to the complaint.
When she applied for a lateral transfer within the hospital, Stanton was told, “Well, I’m trying to get you out of here as soon as I can, too,” the complaint states.
In April of 2016, exasperated, Stanton submitted her resignation due to her, “inability to continue to work in he fragrance/scent-filled environment due to her long-standing asthma conditions.” Stanton says that any reasonable person would have resigned given he circumstances.
She now sues her former employer on three counts of disability discrimination, and seeks compensatory as well as punitive damages.
She is represented by attorney Shawn P. McLaughlin of Trinity Law, who filed the suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Lancaster General Hospital’s public relations manager did not return an email requesting comment.