Overview: In Carta v. Wingate Healthcare, the MCAD found in favor of the Complainant, a 69-year-old and qualified handicapped individual who was terminated from her health care position. The MCAD awarded emotional distress damages and ordered the Respondent to conduct training of certain human resources employees after the Complainant was injured during the course of her employment and was subsequently terminated. After her injury, the Complainant returned to work on a part-time basis but was ultimately fired because she could not return to full-time work.
Finding the essential issue to be whether further extending the Complainant’s part-time work schedule was a reasonable accommodation, the hearing officer reasoned that that the Respondent did have a further obligation to the Complainant. The prognosis for the Complainant’s recovery was unclear, and so termination was premature. The evidence ultimately did not support a finding that the Complainant could have worked full time, however, so she was not entitled to lost wages beyond what she had already been compensated by worker’s compensation and a third-party lawsuit recovery relating to her injury.