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Lanier Tech pays $53,000 to lab assistant fired after MS diagnosis
Settlement announced by U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta
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Lanier Technical Colleges opens the new 335,000-square-foot campus on 95 acres along Ga. 365 at Howard Road at a cost of about $150 million. - photo by Scott Rogers

An emergency medical technician lab assistant claimed she was removed from the Lanier Technical College teaching schedule following a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, according to court officials.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced a settlement agreement regarding the school and a complaint alleging an Americans with Disabilities Act violation.

The agreement means the college will pay $53,000 in back pay and compensatory damages to the former employee and revise policies to be compliant with the ADA.

“Individuals should not face unlawful barriers to employment because they have a chronic illness or other disability,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband said in a statement. “This agreement is another step towards eliminating discriminatory employment barriers for people with disabilities. We applaud Lanier Technical College for committing to change its policies and practices, and compensating its former employee who was unlawfully terminated from her job.” 

The part-time lab assistant was diagnosed in 2010 with multiple sclerosis less than a year after joining Lanier Tech.

In 2012, she missed work on a handful of days due to treatment. The lab assistant signed up for several shifts for the following fall semester, but she was subsequently removed from the calendar by the instructor, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, the lab assistant appealed to the director, who “expressed concern about legal and liability issues and whether (the lab assistant) was fit to work because of her MS.”

The lab assistant was removed from payroll six months later. The former employee then filed a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which then investigated the case.

“At this time, Lanier Technical College has not received any official notification in a change of status of the lawsuit, and as is the policy of the College, we have nothing to add,” Lanier Tech public relations director Dave Parrish wrote in an email.

The lab assistant was not identified in any documents provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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