INDIANAPOLIS -- A former employee with the City of Indianapolis is suing the city after she was fired for her actions related to a co-worker who had "obnoxious chronic body odor," according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed by Amber Bridges in December with the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Indiana.
Bridges, a former lead staff member in the Marion County Magistrate Court, claims she was fired unfairly in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act after her actions with a co-worker.
The co-worker suffered from an "obnoxious chronic body odor" condition that distracted other employees from doing their work, the lawsuit states. After notifying her supervisor of the distractions and complaints, the lawsuit states that in Nov. 2016, Bridges bought and installed air fresheners around the office "to improve the overall quality of air in the office."
The lawsuit states that Bridges' supervisor was aware that she installed the air fresheners. It also stated that other staff members also put air fresheners in the office.
In May 2017, Bridges was notified about complaints about the air fresheners to Bridges' supervisor and the human resources director, the lawsuit said. Bridges was fired that same month.
She is now suing under the ADA, saying the city regarded the co-worker's body odor as a disability protected under the ADA. The association provision of the ADA protects people who have a relationship or association with somebody who has a disability.
Bridges' supervisor and the HR director claimed her behavior "distracted from the overall professional demeanor at and productivity of the Magistrate Court," according to the lawsuit, but Bridges alleges these reasons are false.
"The City's conduct was outrageous and malicious, was intended to injure Bridges, and was done with reckless indifference to Bridges' protected civil rights, entitling her to an aware of punitive damages," the lawsuit states.
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