A woman in New Jersey is suing her former employer, claiming that she was fired after revealing that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Carmela Flynn worked as a legal assistant at November & Nunnink for 10 years. In 2014, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The disease is both incurable and debilitating.
Flynn said that after learning of her health condition, “the defendants clearly, unequivocally and with malicious intent commenced a wholesale campaign of abuse, retaliation and certain surreptitious adverse employment actions.”
In February 2016, Flynn learned that she had breast cancer. According to the lawsuit claim, the firm informed Flynn that she was being terminated “because of the contents and dissemination of an innocuous email.”
The firm then denied Flynn unemployment compensation benefits because she refused to sign a document stating that she would not file a lawsuit against the business.
Flynn is now seeking a trial by jury and aiming to receive compensatory and punitive damages. Her suit argues that she is a member of a protected class under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and accuses the partners, Celine Y. November and Laura A. Nunnink, of “intentional infliction of emotional distress, unreasonable conduct and gross negligence.” This is why companies need to invest in anti-discrimination courses.
In the U.S., about one in eight women develops invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. This year alone, approximately 246,660 new cases of the disease are expected to be diagnosed. In fact, second only to skin cancer, breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed types of cancer among American women. The best way to reduce the risk of cancer-related death is to have a mammography screening every two years between the ages of 65 and 74.
According to New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination, a person’s employment cannot be affected by their genetic information or disability. In violation of this law, November & Nunnink terminated an employee one day after learning about her physical ailment.