Sign of the times: A New Jersey woman has sued her employer because it wouldn’t accommodate her disability by changing her schedule so she wouldn’t have to deal with rush hour traffic.  

Here’s the scoop, from a story in the Cherry Hill, NJ Courier-Post:

Andrea DeGerolamo worked as a marketing consultant for Fulton Financial Corp., based in Lancaster, PA. Things apparently went OK for about five years, when, court filings relate, she “began to feel great anxiety and depression, which was especially aggravated by crowded roadways experienced during the heavy traffic of rush hour.”

Her condition qualified as a disability, her attorneys argue.

She went out on medical leave for several months in 2012. When she returned, she asked her employer for an accommodation — a schedule “by which she could come in after morning rush hour and leave prior to evening rush hour.”

The company agreed for a time, DeGerolamo says in the legal filing, but then refused to continue the accommodation.

The suit also says DeGerolamo returned from leave to find her duties were downgraded improperly to “clerical-type work.”

She complained to the ethic board, but heard nothing — except for the fact that she was being terminated.

The suit was initially filed in Camden County, NJ, but was moved to federal court in Camden at Fulton Financial’s request, the newspaper said. No word on when the case will actually be heard.

Hmmmm …

Certainly a lot to think about in this case. Our first thought is a quote from a critic of the ADA Amendments Act of a few years ago, who grumbled, “Well, I guess everybody in every company qualifies as disabled now.”

Three specific questions jump to mind:

  1. Is there anybody on earth who doesn’t feel some form of anxiety and depression when caught in rush hour traffic?
  2. If everybody got to come in after the morning rush and before the evening scramble, wouldn’t a lot of people be working about a six hour workday? and
  3. If everybody’s on the road after and prior to the traditional rush hour, wouldn’t that just cause … new rush hours?

We’ll keep you posted on the case.

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