The Maine Employee Rights Group (MERG) has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against MaineHealth alleging that it discriminated against MERG client Susan Kendrick, a Registered Nurse (RN) who works for MaineHealth.
Ms. Kendrick previously worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Maine Medical Center where she cared for ill and premature newborn infants. In early 2018, MaineHealth removed Ms. Kendrick from the NICU because of her disability and it reassigned her to a lower paying job outside of Maine Medical Center. (MaineHealth is the parent company of Maine Medical Center.)
Ms. Kendrick’s disability is reactive airway dysfunction syndrome. Due to her disability, when she is exposed to perfume, she suffers from symptoms such as coughing, respiratory irritation, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Ms. Kendrick’s disability should not be a barrier to her employment with MaineHealth because MaineHealth has a Fragrance-Free Policy which prohibits fragrances of any kind. According to MaineHealth, it adopted this policy specifically to protect patients, visitors, and staff with conditions like Ms. Kendrick’s.