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Elisa Madonia lawsuit: Employers pressured cancer-stricken worker to leave

Elisa Madonia lawsuit.
Elisa Madonia lawsuit.
Commons Wikimedia

The Elisa Madonia lawsuit is about a woman who learned she had stage three esophageal cancer and was pressured to leave her job just hours later. Opposing Views reported Jan. 30 that Elisa had worked four years at S37 -- a property management company in Chicago -- when she was met with upper staff about the future of her position with the employer.

Elisa got the news last October about her cancer. Doctors sent letters to S37 detailing why Elisa would need a lot of time off for chemotherapy and surgery. Two hours later, the employers called her into their office and got rid of her, the report said. Elisa noted that they have “suggested she resign” and “offered to pay six months of COBRA if she signed a separation letter." The Elisa Madonia lawsuit was filed over this decision and is based on disability discrimination.

“Not only I’m being hit with a disease, that I have cancer, now you take my job away from me?” Elisa said.

Elisa's attorney -- Eugene Hollander -- said S37 should have presented her with options as she dealt with her serious illness. She mentioned that they had an "obligation to sit down with Elise and say, hey, what can we do here? Can you work three days a week? Can you telecommute for some period of time?”

Elisa is recovering and has already had treatment.

It is difficult to fathom why any employer would feel so inclined to terminate an employee when they received devastating news about having cancer -- or any debilitating illness. Maybe the Elisa Madonia lawsuit will serve as an example to others that an employer decision like this is unacceptable.

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