Apple Hit with Discrimination Lawsuit by Former Employee

Apple is the target of yet another lawsuit, this time for allegedly discriminating against a former employee of its SoHo store in New York City. The case was filed by Nicole Sullivan in U.S. District Court in Illinois and claims Apple refused to give her job back after she returned from a four-month medical leave of absence.

AppleInsider reports Ms. Sullivan took the leave of absence in April 2009 to receive psychiatric treatment for a nervous disorder. She claimed the independent company that handled her disability leave told her the details of her condition wouldn’t be disclosed to Apple, although she thinks that’s exactly what happened.

Upon returning to work, Ms. Sullivan claimed it was obvious that store employees and the human resources director knew about her medical condition. She wasn’t given her old job back, but instead was given a desk in the store’s basement without any tasks to perform.

Her complaint states “Many days went by and still Plaintiff was not assigned to any particular job, despite requesting that she be assigned to one.”

Ms. Sullivan’s complaint goes on to claim that she was denied positions she applied for at the SoHo store along with the North Michigan Avenue store in Chicago because of a “perceived disability.”

Ms. Sullivan is asking the court for front and back pay, employee benefits she lost, and US$300,000 in punitive damages for Americans with Disabilities Act violations.

Apple hasn’t commented on Ms. Sullivan’s lawsuit.