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Texas Jail Administrator Receives $115,000 Settlement for Wrongful Termination

by Christopher Zoukis

A 46-year-old county jail administrator agreed to a $115,000 settlement with Gray County, Texas, after her employment was ended because of a prolonged medical absence.

     Shelly McCarn had been employed with Gray County for 15 years. On December 21, 2009, she took some time off to undergo a hysterectomy. While in surgery, she was found to have advanced cervical cancer, for which she began radiation and chemotherapy. In April 2010, not yet having returned to work, her employment was terminated.

     McCarn filed a complaint in federal court against Gray County for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Medical Leave Act. McCarn's supervisor testified on her behalf that she requested light duty or to be able to work from home, but that he just told her to go home and get better. The defense contended that McCarn never made such a request, and that regardless, a doctor's note she provided said that she couldn't work at all until June 1. The note was given to her employer a week before she was fired.

     In her suit, McCarn requested back pay, front pay and compensatory damages of an unspecified amount. She agreed to a settlement with the county for $115,000.

See: McCarn v. Gray County, Texas, United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division, Case No. 2:11-cv-33 (Sept. 22, 2011)

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Related legal case

McCarn v. Gray County, Texas