CHERRY HILL, N.J. (USA TODAY) — A woman who says busy roads worsen her anxiety has sued a former employer who refused to change her schedule to avoid rush-hour traffic.
Andrea DeGerolamo also contends Fulton Financial Corp. fired her in May 2013 in retaliation for her efforts to address alleged workplace bias.
Her lawsuit, which seeks unspecified financial damages, asserts Fulton Financial's actions violated the state's Law Against Discrimination.
An attorney for Fulton Financial, based in Lancaster, Pa., could not be reached for comment Monday.
In her lawsuit, DeGerolamo says she joined Fulton Financial as a marketing consultant in 2007 and took a medical leave in August 2012.
Around that time, DeGerolamo "began to feel great anxiety and depression, which was especially aggravated by crowded roadways experienced during the heavy traffic of rush hour," the suit says.
"Her medical condition qualified her as being disabled," it asserts.
When DeGerolamo returned from leave in November 2012, she requested a work shift "by which she could come in after morning rush hour and leave prior to evening rush hour."
The lawsuit asserts that change, requested "at the mandate" of DeGerolamo's doctor, would have been a reasonable accommodation for the woman's disability.
According to the lawsuit, Fulton Financial changed DeGerolamo's schedule for a short period, then made no effort to accommodate her. The suit also says DeGerolamo returned from leave to find her duties were downgraded improperly to "clerical-type work."
DeGerolamo objected through her firm's ethics review board in May 2013 but never heard back about the complaint; instead, she was terminated on May 17, the lawsuit says.
The suit, initially filed in Superior Court in Camden County in May, was moved last week to federal court in Camden at Fulton Financial's request.
Ben Friedman, a Marlton attorney representing DeGerolamo, could not be reached.