Woman sues employer over ADA

January 13, 2021 Cranberry Local News

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A Wampum woman is suing her employer, MSA Safety Inc., a company based in Cranberry Township, in federal court over accusations it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws related to her protection as an employee with disabilities.

MSA Safety Inc. produces safety equipment and the plaintiff, Abigail Mullen, began working there in 2015 as a production technician, according to the suit, filed in the Western District on Dec. 29.

Her job duties included soldering, testing, manufacturing, engaging in teamwork activities, training, computer input and running calibration ovens.

Mullen claims in the suit she was a dutiful employee who “excelled in her position.”

During her time as an employee she notified the company she has several “documented disabilities,” including an anxiety disorder, panic disorder and a disorder that causes severe abdominal pain.

Mullen said she usually was able to overcome these disabilities and continue working. But in 2019, she claims in the suit, her coworkers began to “bully” and harass her.

Mullen claims in the suit that she brought this behavior up to the MSA Safety Inc. human resources department.

A mediation session was undertaken, but at the end of it the human resources department decided not to get involved, deeming the conflict an issue that happened outside of work.

But Mullen insists in her lawsuit that the harassing behavior took place at work.

Several attempts to bring the issue to the attention of the upper management were ignored, according to Mullen's lawsuit, and in early 2020 several coworkers of Mullen began to refer to her as “crazy.”

Mullen began using more of her days off to avoid the issues with her coworkers, and this eventually led to her termination at the company over a discrepancy in the amount of days she was allowed to take off.

Mullen is asking the federal court to judge the case in her favor and award her “lost wages, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, court costs, attorney fees, prejudgment and any other relief that the Court deems necessary and proper.”

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