WEST ISLIP, N.Y., Oct. 23 (UPI) -- A woman was unjustly fired after she offered her life-saving kidney to her supervisor at work the New York State Division on Human Rights ruled Monday.
The decision noted "probable cause" that Debbie Stevens' former employer, Atlantic Automotive Group of West Islip, engaged in a discriminatory practice by firing her from her administrative assistant position after she offered a kidney to then-friend and supervisor Jackie Bruscia, 61, in 2011, the New York Post reported Tuesday.
"Something was very different when I got back," Stevens, 49, said, noting when she returned to work Bruscia badgered, demoted and fired Stevens.
"She [Stevens] has permanent physical and emotional damage," said Stevens' lawyer, Lenard Leeds.
The finding paves the way for a $15 million lawsuit against Bruscia and the auto dealership. Stevens learned her kidney was not a match for Bruscia, but donated the organ to another patient in Bruscia's name, moving Bruscia up on a waiting list for kidneys, the newspaper said.