Verdict Reached in Perceived Disability Lawsuit

Tennessee workers and many other workers all over the country expect and deserve to be treated with respect and given the same opportunities as other employees no matter what their race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability might be. However, this does not always happen. If you feel that you have been discriminated against at work because of a disability, then you should talk to a Tennessee employment lawyer as soon as possible. They will help you get the compensation you deserve for having your rights violated under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In this case, William Pleminitas worked as a custodial worker at Port Jervis City School District was fired due to him having a perceived mental disability. This is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The jury found that School Superintendent John Xanthis and Assistant Superintendent Lorelei Case tried to come up with other reasons for the termination. Pleminitas was awarded $85,000 for emotional distress.

Pleminitas starting working for the school district in 1992, then in March 2007, his supervisor claims that Pleminitas angrily confronted him. The following day Case and Xanthis suspended Pleminitas for thirty days without pay and without hearing Pleminitas side of the story and without consulting any other witnesses. In April of 2007, the school district filed disciplinary charges against Pleminitas which were seeking that he be fired on the grounds that he suffered from anxiety, depression, and several mental disorders which the charges claimed prevented him working and made him dangerous to others. Pleminitas previously had been working for fifteen years without any problems and had received average or above average on all performance evaluations. He also had never had a major confrontation with a supervisor before.

After his thirty day suspension the school district refused to give him back his job
without the results of an arbitration which contested his termination. This was shown to cause him financial distress as well as economic hardship and anxiety. At the trial a psychiatrist claimed that he had been treating Pleminitas for a long time and he was not a danger to himself or others and had never unable to work because of any disability. The school district did not send Pleminitas for a mental evaluation as allowed by law.

Unfortunately, cases similar to this one happen more often than they should. If you feel that you have been discriminated against due to disability or for any other reason while at work, then you should contact one of our experienced and compassionate Tennessee employment attorneys. We care about you and your case and will work with you to make sure your rights are upheld and you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Feel free to contact us online or call us at 800.705.2121 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your case and your legal options.

Author Bio

Jim Higgins, founder of the Higgins Firm, is a seasoned personal injury attorney with deep roots in Nashville, Tennessee. A 4th generation Nashvillian, Jim carries on the legal legacy of his father, a judge for over 30 years. After graduating from the University of Memphis School of Law, Jim’s career began on the other side of the courtroom, defending insurance companies and learning their tactics for minimizing settlements. However, he soon realized his true calling was fighting for the rights of the injured, and for the past several years, he has exclusively represented plaintiffs in personal injury cases.

Since then, his dedication and skill have earned him membership in the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an organization limited to attorneys who have secured million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for their clients. Licensed to practice in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia, Jim focuses on personal injury, product liability, medical malpractice, and workers’ compensation cases. His exceptional work has been recognized by his peers, earning him a spot on the Super Lawyers list from 2021 to 2024, a distinction awarded to only a select group of accomplished attorneys in each state.

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