2/4/2003 6:03 PM
UPI Business & Economics Desk
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accused United Airlines on Tuesday of failing to provide work for a longtime cabin worker who developed multiple sclerosis.
The EEOC suit said the airline, which is in bankruptcy, had the woman sit idly in a cafeteria rather than provide her a secretarial or mailroom position compatible with her disease, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The EEOC said Joanne Plurad began her career with United in 1982, cleaning plane cabins between flights. She was diagnosed with MS in 1990, and two years later, was no longer was able to perform her cleaning duties. She requested a new assignment.
EEOC trial attorney June Calhoun said in 1997 the airline told Plurad it had run out of things for her to do and had her sit idle until it placed her on unpaid sick leave in October 2000.
The lawsuit asks for back pay and compensation as well as punitive damages.
United refused to comment.
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