A former executive assistant at a Detroit law group has filed a lawsuit alleging, because of a Mad Men like atmosphere, she was required to wear high heels which caused her to trip and injure her back. She sued after the firm didn’t provide her with a job after medical leave.
Denise Fitzhenry claims that in February 2007 she injured her back while working at the law offices of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn when her high heel got caught in carpet. Her lawsuit claims she was discriminated against following her injury.
She had back surgery and took time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
When she returned to work, she asked for accommodations because she was still in pain. The requested accommodations included working part time, regular work breaks and a ban on heavy lifting.
Fitzhenry says she was forced to take another leave of absence because of continuing pain, but when she tried to return to work, she was told there were no open positions for her.
She also alleges that the law firm discriminated against her because she filed a workers’ compensation claim.
Fitzhenry’s attorney, Deborah Gordon, told law.com that the atmosphere at Honigman more closely resembled an episode of Mad Men than a modern workplace. Fitzhenry claims she was required to wear high heels on the job.
The law firm says the allegations in the suit are without merit and that Honigman has complied with all applicable laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The firm also calls the Mad Men accusations preposterous.