Acccommodations: Merced Jury Awards $800K to Bank Teller Who Was Robbery Victim

A Merced County jury has returned an
$800,000 verdict for a Washington Mutual bank teller who claimed that
the bank failed to reasonably accommodate her and engage in an
interactive process when she suffered from post-traumatic stress
disorder stemming from a bank robbery.

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The teller, Laressia Carr, was at work when the bank was held up by
masked robbers, one of whom held a gun to Carr’s head. In the days
following this ordeal, Carr developed post-traumatic stress disorder,
which interfered with her job performance. Her doctor made
recommendations about how Washington Mutual could make some job
accommodations to ease her stress, such as assigning her to a job that
would require less interaction with the public. But, Carr charged, the
bank refused to provide suitable accommodations.

Washington Mutual, which said it plans to appeal the verdict, took the
position that it did reasonably accommodate Carr’s condition.