MCAD Digest: Codinha v. Bear Hill Nursing Center …Employee Wins Emotional Distress Damages for Unlawful Termination

Overview: In Codinha v. Bear Hill Nursing Center, the MCAD found in favor of the Complainant and awarded emotional distress damages for unlawful termination based on age and disability. The Complainant, a Certified Nursing Assistant, was in her early 70s when she fell at home and broke her wrist. After a period of medical leave, the Respondent informed her that it would not be feasible for her to return to work.

The Respondent claimed that the Complainant was terminated due to concerns over her attitude and poor performance, but the hearing officer determined that this was not credible. The hearing officer noted that the timing was suspect, that coworkers had not previously complained to management about the Complainant, that there were no negative reports about the Complainant’s performance, and that her most recent evaluation was positive. In addition, the Respondent had characterized the termination as a layoff, and not as a termination for cause.

Decision Date: March 30, 2017

Docket Number: 15-BEM-00248

Hearing Officer: Eugenia M. Guastaferri

Claims: Unlawful termination based on age and disability

Prevailing Party: Complainant

Back Pay: $0

Front Pay: $0

Emotional Distress: $35,000

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