Woman says she was fired for cancer

May 18, 2010 at 9:06 PM
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CHICAGO, May 18 (UPI) -- A Chicago-area woman says she was fired by a community college because she has cancer.

Margaret Walsh, 54, of Jefferson Park told the Chicago Sun-Times she got a termination notice from Oakton Community College while she was on an unpaid leave of absence for treatment. She has filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying the college violated the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Walsh said she told her supervisor about the diagnosis last year.

"I was very upfront with them from the beginning," she said. "I didn't think in my wildest dreams that they would turn that around and terminate me."

The letter she received in June 2009 told her she was being dismissed because of "the unfortunate timing and length of your need to be out of work while serving in a probationary status."

The EEOC would not comment on the complaint's status because it has not yet been resolved, and a spokesman for the college also refused to comment. About 3 percent of the complaints received last year for alleged violations of the ADA involved cancer patients.

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