The United States Law Week

Penn State Health Beats Disability Bias Claim at Appeals Court

Jan. 13, 2021, 8:05 PM

A former administrative secretary at Penn State Hospital failed to show that the hospital’s stated reason for firing her—failure to comply with its policy on reporting absences—was unlawful or a pretext for disability discrimination, the Third Circuit said Wednesday.

Kelly Soutner has irritable bowel syndrome and vertigo. She requested and was approved for Family and Medical Leave Act leave for various days over a 12-month period, but she didn’t also report the absences in accordance with the hospital’s call-off procedures.

Soutner’s supervisor provided her with attendance counseling and a written warning. The hospital fired her when she subsequently left work...

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