Former NYC Employee Fired Over Gastritis, Federal Lawsuit Claims

A longtime NYC employee has filed suit in the Southern District of New York claiming that she was discriminated against because of her disability and gender.  She further claims the city retaliated against her when she brought up her concerns to officials.

Yvonne Simon has worked for the city of New York in different agencies for over twenty years, according to the complaint.  For for the past five years, Simon has suffered from her disability – diabetes and severe gastritis.  According to Simon and her physician, she is medically unable to get to work earlier than 11:00 am  The accommodation she had requested, and been given, was a daily work schedule of 11:00 am until 7:00 pm.

Beginning in October 2015 Adrian Egalite volunteered to act as Simon’s direct supervisor from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. Simon claims that Egalite acted in an intimidating manner, “looming large in stature over her,” physically invading her personal space, yelling loudly at her at close range, and making sexually suggestive comments, the complaint states.

In December 2015 Simon states she complained of Egalite’s conduct by email to high level managers, but received no response.  In January 2016 she sent a second email that also requested a meeting to discuss ways of remedying the situation.  A few days later, Egalite was removed as her supervisor for the 6:00 to 7:00 pm shift, the complaint sates.

In February 2016, Simon claims that she was told that the city was not required to provide her with an 11:00 to 7:00 work schedule and told her she must work 10:00 to 6:00, despite her having produced correspondence from her doctor she was unable to do so. She claims that, since she could not get to work by 10:00 and now had to leave by 6:00, the city had essentially cut two hours out of the work day, causing her financial and emotional damage.

In September 2016, Simon was brought up on disciplinary charges accusing her of tardiness, according to the complaint.  Simon claims she was told that they could not accommodate her time schedule because no one else was in the building after 6:00 pm.  When Simon, through her own investigation, found employees who could in fact function as her after-hours supervisor, her request for the accommodation was again denied.

Simon claims that she “suffered a sexually hostile workplace environment, and discrimination against her disability status, and retaliation, each causing economic and non-economic damage and loss, including emotion distress . . . .”

Simon is represented by David DeToffel of New York.

Image Source: Global Jet (Flickr)