DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state panel agreed Tuesday to pay more than $400,000 after a judge found a worker at an Iowa care center was the victim of disability discrimination.
The State Appeal Board, a group of state elected officials responsible for approving the state's legal bills, approved paying the court-ordered judgment against Glenwood Resource Center to Dorothy Hollinger, a residential treatment worker. Glenwood is a center for people with intellectual disabilities.
Hollinger had a right knee injury that prevented her from kneeling, squatting or crawling. The injury was aggravated after a resident kicked her in the knee in 2011.
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After a knee replacement surgery and six months leave she returned to work but was advised to apply for long-term disability. She was fired in March 2013 but recalled for a job that paid less.
She sued, claiming discrimination based on her disability. A judge ruled against her but she appealed. The Iowa Court of Appeals ordered a new trial in December 2016.
A judge in the second trial said the failure by Glenwood personnel to follow the state's civil rights law in Hollinger's case was concerning.
The judge ordered Hollinger to be paid more than $40,000 in back pay, $200,000 for emotional distress and her attorneys $226,000.
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