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Atlantic City—a former employee of South Jersey Gas sued his employer for failing to make accommodations for his depression and then firing him just days shy of his 20th anniversary of employment with the company. A jury awarded the man, Scott Jones, $1.1 million in emotional damages and $720,544 in economic damages on July 24th.

Jones filed suit back in 2006 after his employer fired him, citing “poor work performance”. However, South Jersey Gas maintains that Jones was fired for his low work performance, alleging that he made no sales in the months prior to his termination and that he had “never been a top performer”. Nevertheless, the company was undergoing a restructuring plan that unduly increased Jones’ workload, putting increased pressure on him and ultimately contributing to his depression. Furthermore, Jones’ annual reviews showed he always received satisfactory marks for his work, despite his depression.

Moreover, Jones went to his supervisors in the three months prior to his termination to discuss accommodations for his depression because of his increased inability to concentrate. His supervisors referred him to a counselor through the company Employee Assistance Program and Jones signed a waiver allowing his supervisors to discuss his psychological evaluation and then to make the corresponding work accommodations. However, his supervisors never contacted the counselor to look over Jones’ evaluation. His employers allege that the document Jones signed simply stated that he had attended counseling, but did not give them the right to discuss his psychological evaluation. South Jersey Gas plans to appeal the decision.

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Anonymous

    Wow I can truly literally understand this mans issues I know how that company works and they really want you to work for nothing.

    Something needs to be done with each division because South Jersey Gas is nothing compared to the other sister companies. They work you into depression, devistation, disaster and frustration.

    They make you want to give up on everything. My relationship has suffered because of my job and my family as well. It is truly a horrible place to be in. They don't care! You reach out to them and they just keep on piling it on. I hope they lose the appeal and really restructure the company as a whole because as soon as the economy gets better they may lose a lot of employees.

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