Woman with fibromyalgia wins EEOC disability discrimination lawsuit

Lana Bandoim's picture
fibromyalgia lawsuit

A woman with fibromyalgia has ended her long battle with Baywood Home Care in Minneapolis. She won the EEOC disability discrimination lawsuit and was awarded $30,000. Laurie J. Goodnough, who suffers from fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, claimed the home health care company fired her because of her health and violated the ADA.

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Laurie Goodnough explained she was fired from Baywood Home Care after several employees noticed she had difficulty walking. Her fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis force her to use a cane, but she did not expect the home health care company to fire her because she continued to perform her duties and felt the dismissal had violated her rights. The lawsuit from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) supported her claim that Baywood Home Care did not follow the rules outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

After an investigation, it was found that Baywood Home Care did not try to accommodate Laurie Goodnough’s disabilities. She will receive $30,000, and the company will have to train its staff to better understand the ADA. During the lawsuit, Baywood Home Care was also accused of violating the ADA in other formats by asking potential employees if they have disabilities before hiring them, but the company denied this.

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Laurie Goodnough’s case brings up important issues related to fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and the ADA. She mentioned her disabilities did not stop her from working, and she was shocked after being fired. Ignorance about her condition may have contributed to the company’s quick decision to let her go instead of investigating the issue. Fibromyalgia affects each person in a different way, so assumptions about someone’s abilities are dangerous. Although the condition does prevent some people from being able to work, Laurie Goodnough did not fit this profile.

Read more about fibromyalgia:
Memantine drug shows promise for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia study focuses on brain stimulation to fight pain

Image: Public Domain/Pixabay

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