Chase Sued for Failure to Accommodate Employee’s Job-Related PTSD

JP Morgan Chase has been sued by a Sacramento area branch manager for failing to accommodate the post-traumatic stress disorder she suffered as a result of being the target of a kidnapping and bank robbery.

Mujghan Rasul was hired by Chase as a teller in 2002, according to the complaint. She claims she was promoted several times throughout her career culminating in her position as a vice president, branch manager.

In July 2015 Rasul was informed by the Sacramento Police Department that they had reliable information that she was the target of a kidnapping and bank robbery attempt. According to the complaint, she was told she could not return to her home and had to leave the area.

Rasul claims she informed her supervisors, as well as the head of security, that she was afraid of working in her role as a branch manager. She also claims she began experiencing severe emotional distress. She was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia with panic disorder, according to the complaint.

In April 2017, Rasul was informed by a healthcare provider that she could return to work if given accommodations. In May 2017 she contacted Chase about returning to work with the restriction that “she not travel more than a ten to fifteen mile radius so that she would not get panic attacks,” the complaint states. Chase agreed to the accommodation.

In June 2017 Rasul was told that there were no available branch manager positions, but she could return as a “floating” manger, helping with special projects until a branch manager position opened up, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, Rasul returned to work in the floating manager role and claims she performed in a highly satisfactory manner. When she was required to travel to a branch outside her medically restricted area and hesitated to do so, she claims it was suggested to her that she transfer to the loan department, a move she considered a demotion.

Rasul claims she was told that, if she didn’t step down to a different position, she would be forced to work in an office an hour away from her home and that her health conditions were of no concern to the supervisor involved. Following the discussion, Rasul’s “doctor placed her off of work due to a decline in her emotional well being,” the complaint states.

Rasul claims that she was wrongfully terminated based on the fact that she had a disability, Chase failed to provide her with a reasonable accommodation or engage in a good faith interactive process to arrive at an appropriate accommodation.

Rasul is represented by Sheri Leonard of Roseville, California.

Image Source: Mike Mozart (Flickr)