A North Idaho woman is suing Kootenai County, saying she was fired from her job as an accounting clerk for improperly calling in sick after being diagnosed with serious medical conditions.
This morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports that Kathy Pagano and her husband filed their suit in U.S. District Court in Coeur d'Alene, listing Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes, Deputy Clerk Pat Raffee and Finance Director Dave McDowell among the defendants. The suit, which doesn't specifically mention Pagano's illness, said her medical condition caused her to suffer severe intermittent physical pain which limited her physical activity and ability to concentrate.
In May 2011, Pagano said that following a medical procedure, her doctor released her saying she should work part-time—but county officials said she could not return part-time. Pagano said her bosses told her to "wait until she was fully released" to a full-time capacity. Ultimately, Pagano was fired June 23, 2011. Pagano said when she appealed the termination she was allegedly told "she wasn't very good at her job and she didn't know how to adequately perform her accounting and payroll job duties," according to the lawsuit.
Pagano is alleging violations of procedural due process and of the Family Medical Leave Act, according to the Press. She is seeking lost pay, benefits, punitive damages and attorney fees.