How an Attempt to Save $150 Cost This Employer $354,070

by Evil HR Lady on August 11, 2017

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that you not discriminate against people with disabilities and that you make reasonable accommodations for a disabled employee. However, the employee has to be capable of doing the “core functions” of a job. That may not be as cut and dried as you might think, as the City of Evanston, Illinois, found out.

Biago Stragapede worked for the City of Evanston for 14 years, when he had an accident at home (not work related) that resulted in him being out for 9 months. When he returned, the city’s doctor had concerns about the traumatic brain injury he suffered and sent him to a neurologist for an evaluation. The neurologist recommended a “work trial” to see if Stragepede could do his job. The city gave him a two-week trial and then he returned to work full time.

All of these things are fine. When someone has had a serious injury, you need a doctor to release them to work again and you’d be negligent if you didn’t. But, the problems started a couple of weeks later when Stragapede made some mistakes and needed some help at work.

To keep reading, click here: How an Attempt to Save $150 Cost This Employer $354,070

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth West August 11, 2017 at 3:51 pm

Sooooo many screw-ups here!

He could have made mistakes for any number of reasons not related to his accident. You can’t just assume. And doctors aren’t supposed to make determinations like that without an exam.

I’m glad he won the lawsuit. Also, if I were the city, I’d start using a different doctor. 😛


grannybunny August 11, 2017 at 4:53 pm

They need a new legal advisor too.


grannybunny August 11, 2017 at 4:52 pm

What’s that old saying: “penny wise and pound foolish!”


Maria Rose August 11, 2017 at 9:36 pm

Sounds like a typical government run situation, with a bunch of regulations and limited communications between different departments.
Yes, he should have been sent back to the neurologist for an exam, rather than sending in a paperwork form reporting incidents, but his probably was following the path concerning situations like this.
Remember he was out 9 months, typical leave without detailed information from their neurologist is 6 months with a monthly note from doctor until return to work, so I believe that set up a red flag in his record, which makes it probable they were looking for any excuse to terminate because condition. We don’t know full state of his relationship at work with team.
Definitely someone slipped up in not covering all the bases here and cost the city a big bundle. Or, he knew how to work the system right.


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