LONGVIEW — A former employee of the Gregg County District Clerk’s Office has filed a federal age discrimination lawsuit against the county. In the lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Marshall, Gretchen L. Blackburn alleges she was wrongfully terminated Aug. 1, 2012. According to KETK and the Longview News-Journal, the suit says she was hired Aug. 25, 2009.
Blackburn claims she sought treatment for what she believed to be chronic fibromyalgia pain on Oct. 9, 2009, at which time she learned she had spinal stenosis and a herniated disk. Blackburn began receiving spinal epidural injections as well as trigger point injections for relief of pain, according to the suit. On Oct. 5, 2011, it said, she was sent paperwork from her physician to complete regarding her health and the Family Medical Leave Act.
After a year, a chief deputy clerk was appointed and Blackburn’s duty station was moved to the back of the office where she was assigned to file case folders. “After a number of days of continual filing, she (Blackburn) needed trigger point injections to relieve back pain,” the suit states. “She returned to work with restrictions regarding continual filing from Dr. Mark Williams.” A short time later, Blackburn received a change of duties, which she believed was a form of retaliation due to the restriction. After missing more than a week of work in late July because of back pain and injection treatments, Blackburn said her employment was terminated.
The suit alleges Blackburn was protected by the Americans with disabilities Act and that Gregg County failed to make reasonable accommodations for her. Robert Davis, attorney for Gregg County, said Friday he could not comment because the county had not yet been served with notice of the federal lawsuit.