On behalf of a client (HK), we filed a lawsuit against Short Hills Surgery Center (SHSC) in Millburn, New Jersey and its administrator for disability discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation.

The Complaint alleges that HK began employment with SHSC as a human resource manager in April 2015. Subsequently, she performed well in her position, received praises in performance evaluations and was granted multiple salary increases. However, several years later, HK was injured and suffered physical disabilities, including suffering from pain, for which she was prescribed pain medications.

HK alleges that the administrator of SHSC was not empathetic to her medical condition and started to treat her negatively once HK’s medical condition became known.

HK alleges that the administrator started to scrutinize her work performance more intensely, and began to make comments about her weight loss, behavior, body language as well as her work performance. HK alleges that the administrator then gave her a negative performance rating.

HK alleges that one of the medications she took caused dry mouth as a side effect, and the administrator falsely accused her of having a slurred speech, being drunk or using illegal substances.

HK alleges that the administrator’s harassing, demeaning, degrading, and disparaging conduct and attitude towards her caused her to become depressed and develop anxiety, for which she was prescribed medications.

HK further alleges that one day, the administrator and nursing director entered into her office and demanded that HK accompany them to a clinic for drug testing.

HK alleged that SHSC accused her of either taking illegal drugs or was intoxicated, when in fact she was simply on prescribed medication. HK alleged that the administrator and nursing director forced her to provide a urine sample under threat of losing her job.

HK alleged that the administrator ordered her to go home after the test and not to return to work unless she tested negative for illegal substances.  HK alleges that the test was negative but that SHSC’s action was humiliating, shameful and degrading, and that because of that, she went into deeper despair and distress over her treatment.  

HK alleges that when she was out on FMLA leave, no one from SHSC called, texted or  email her to see how she  was doing.

HK alleges that after her FMLA leave expired, she was temporarily unable to return to work due to severe emotional distress and anxiety caused by SHSC. HK requested additional time to recover mentally, but SHSC refused and HK did not return to work.

Among other claims, HK alleges constrictive termination. An employee may assert a claim of constructive termination where he/she is forced to resign due to compelling circumstances. That is, a constructive discharge occurs where a reasonable employee is compelled to resign due to the employer’s action.

At Chatarpaul Law, our practice is focused on employment discrimination, civil rights and constitutional rights violations. You may contact us at 201-222-0123 or [email protected].