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Former Michael's Employee Awarded $8.1 Million For Wrongful Termination

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A Florida woman who once worked as a manager for a Michael's Arts and Crafts store sued the company after claiming that she was fired because she had cancer. After the trial. there was about five hours of deliberation over two days. The jury ordered that the Texas-based arts and craft chain must pay 47-year-old Kara Jorud $8.1 million.

The Palm Beach Post reports that about half of the $8.1 million judgment was awarded for pain and suffering and the other half was awarded to make Michael's pay for discriminating against an employee with cancer, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

Kara Jorud reportedly took time off from her job at Michaels in order to recover from a double mastectomy. When she did come back to work, she claims that she was harassed and questioned why she needed time off. She was terminated from her position in October 2008 after asking her son and fiancee to help her move merchandise; which Michaels claimed violated company policy by letting unauthorized people into the store. However, employment lawyers saw that the reason for termination had to do with the fact that she was suffering from cancer and had to take time off.

Kara Jorud told the Palm Beach Post that she hopes the jury verdict will send a message to other companies about the importance of tending to an employee's medical needs when necessary. Michaels, which is headquartered in Irving, employs approximately 12,500 people in the United States and Canada with several store locations existing in the Houston area. Anybody who believes that their rights have been violated by the ADA should contact a Houston employment lawyer to learn more information on filing a claim.

Related Resources:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act - Overview (FindLaw)
  • See a Houston Employment Lawyer (FindLaw)
  • The ADA: Your Employment Rights as an Individual With a Disability (FindLaw)

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