MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin appeals court says state labor officials properly determined that Wisconsin Bell’s decision to fire a bipolar employee amounted to discrimination.
According to court documents, Wisconsin Bell fired Charles Carlson in 2011 for engaging in electronic chats with co-workers and leaving work early one day. Carlson maintained he was reacting to news he didn’t get a promotion, he was looking for support as his therapist had suggested and he doesn’t react like other people.
The Labor Industry Review Commission found the company fired Carlson because of his disability in violation of employment discrimination laws.
The 1st District Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the commission’s interpretation was reasonable and there’s enough evidence to support imposing liability on Wisconsin Bell.
Wisconsin Bell says it does not tolerate discrimination of any kind, including that based on disability. The company says it disagrees with the ruling and is considering its options.