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On December 5th, 2022, Kennedy Hunt P.C. filed a complaint against Washington University in St. Louis for violating the Missouri Human Rights Act in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County. The lawsuit alleges that Washington University discriminated against our client because of her anxiety, which is recognized as a disability. The lawsuit states that her anxiety substantially impacts major life activities, such as socializing with and being around other people, sleeping, and concentrating. 

Per the lawsuit:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our client worked remotely as an executive assistant for Washington University in St. Louis. During and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she fulfilled all her job responsibilities and routinely received raises and bonuses in line with her good work performance. 

In July 2021, Washington University in St. Louis informed our client she and other employees needed to return to work in person. Our client then informed her employer of her medically diagnosed anxiety and asked for reasonable accommodation: to continue working from home for a few more months in the hopes her anxiety would improve. 

In August of that year, Washington University in St. Louis denied this request. Our client then internally appealed her employer’s decision to deny her reasonable accommodation request. That appeal was denied in September 2021. 

Our client then went on medical leave until December 2021. When her leave ended, she was again told she needed to return to work in person. Our client reiterated she was still unable to work in person due to her continued anxiety. Shortly after, Washington University in St. Louis terminated our client’s employment. 

The lawsuit alleges that Washington University violated the Missouri Human Rights Act. Our client has suffered lost wages, emotional distress, and mental anguish.  

The lawsuit seeks damages for our client, as well as costs, expenses, and attorneys fees.

This case is ongoing. For more information, contact attorney Nicole Matlock at nmatlock@kennedyhuntlaw.com. If you or someone you know has been a victim of discrimination or retaliation in the workplace, our skilled attorneys at Kennedy Hunt, P.C. may be able to help you. Fill out a questionnaire so we can understand your claim.