Mediation Ends Successfully for Pitt Disability Lawsuit
Mediation was a success for resolving the disability lawsuit filed by a former Pitt University employee.
Daniel Hinkson filed a civil complaint in December 2019. The complaint alleged he was wrongfully terminated due to his disability – something that would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Hinkson also claims that the school retaliated against him after he tried to negotiate accommodations that would allow him to do his job. According to the ADA, employers must make reasonable accommodations to help employees do their duties.
Hinkson’s lawsuit claims that the actions of Pitt violated the ADA, as well as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
He is requesting back and front pay, payment of legal fees, compensatory damages, and punitive damages.
According to Hickson’s claim, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome while employed by Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health. His diagnosis came in 2018. The school was made aware of his disability and Hickson attempted to negotiate accommodations. However, it was not released publicly what those accommodations were.
After it was filed with the court, the case was referred to David White, a mediator. The mediation sessions were scheduled for May 7th and within 24 hours the case was resolved. Hickson’s lawyer refused to comment on the outcome and would not say if Hickson will return to his position with the school. In some cases, reinstatement is provided when someone accuses an employer of violating the ADA, but it was not clear if reinstatement was one of Hickson’s requests.