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TheStreet Open House

Ohio Woman Sues Ex-employer After Cancer Battle

By AMANDA LEE MYERS

CINCINNATI (AP) â¿¿ An Ohio woman who says she was fired after missing three months of work during treatment for breast cancer has sued her former employer and its managing partner, accusing them of discriminating against her and violating federal law.

Jeanine Gaver of Waynesville, about 35 miles northeast of Cincinnati, accuses Digestive Specialists and her supervisor, Dr. Ramesh Gandhi, of violating the Family and Medical Leave Act by denying her the same job or its equivalent after she missed work during her treatment, which included the removal of both breasts.

Gaver, 58, said Digestive Specialists took her off health insurance and offered her a job with fewer hours when she got well enough to work after the double mastectomy, saying they had found someone else for her job. Eventually, Gaver said, she was fired.

Digestive Specialists, Gandhi and their attorney did not immediately return calls for comment Wednesday.

Gandhi left Digestive Specialists and is involved in separate litigation with the Kettering company; he's now working as a gastroenterologist at Miami Valley Hospital in Centerville. They have not yet responded to the lawsuit, and no trial date has been scheduled.

Gaver's lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Dayton, is seeking about $1.7 million for lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The lawsuit says Digestive Specialist's and Gandhi's "discriminatory and irrational conduct was so extreme and outrageous as to go beyond all bounds of decency and must be considered utterly intolerable in a civilized community."

Gaver "suffered severe mental and physical anguish that no reasonable person could be expected to endure," the lawsuit said.

Gaver had worked at Digestive Specialists as its radiology manager for 3½ years when her yearly mammogram revealed in June 2011 that she had an aggressive breast cancer.

She was approved for three months of medical leave, worked up until four days before her surgery and continually asked supervisors whether anyone needed to be trained to cover her job while she was gone, according to the lawsuit.

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