New Jersey Woman Sues Former Employer After Rush-Hour Traffic Schedule Request

Hate traffic? We all do -- but not like Andrea DeGerolamo.

The Berlin, New Jersey, woman has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, Fulton Financial Corp., on the grounds that she was wrongfully terminated because of a disability that prevented her from driving in rush-hour traffic.

According to the Courier-Post, DeGerolamo took a medical leave from the company in August 2012 for anxiety and depression, which, her lawsuit states, "was especially aggravated by crowded roadways experienced during the heavy traffic of rush-hour."

When she returned to her job as a marketing coordinator for the company in November, she says she requested a work schedule that would avoid rush-hour traffic. She cited her medical condition, which "qualified her as being disabled," according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by Lancaster Online. DeGerolamo asked to come into work after morning traffic had died down, then leave before the evening rush-hour started, the report notes.

While the company initially approved her request to work shorter days, DeGerolamo says the accommodation didn't last long. She says she was given a poor performance review after returning from medical leave and was then demoted to clerical duties. In May of 2013, she filed a complaint with the company's ethics board over what she perceived as an unwarranted demotion. Shortly after, she was fired, reports note.

Lancaster Online reports the suit, which just moved to the U.S. District Court in Camden, seeks a claim on the woman's lost wages and benefits, in addition to compensatory and punitive damages. According to legal experts, DeGerolamo may have a case.

"There’s potentially a case here," Arthur Leonard, a professor at New York Law School, told CBS New York. "If the work that she was doing when she came back was of the same quality of the work she was doing before she went on leave, and suddenly she gets a bad review for the same work, that would be suspicious."

Fulton Financial Corp. declined to comment to The Huffington Post, citing pending legal matters.

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