Bank won't hire woman with bipolar disorder, suit claims

Kelly Holleran Oct. 3, 2011, 10:27am

A woman claims her former employer illegally refused to hire her for various positions after she took time off due to bipolar disorder.

Kelli Keller filed a lawsuit Sept. 22 in Madison County Circuit Court against First MidAmerica Credit Union formerly known as Olin Community Credit Union.

In her complaint, Keller alleges she worked for the credit union from 2003 until 2007, when she was forced to take time off because she began suffering from symptoms of bipolar disorder.

"Prior to 2007 plaintiff demonstrated full competence, demonstrated an ability to meet all the essential functions of her job with defendant, and demonstrated all necessary skills required to perform her job functions as an employee of the credit union and received merit raises," the suit states.

Keller took time off in 2007 and part of 2008, then returned to work with accommodations, the complaint says.

In 2009, Keller claims she attempted to apply for teller and financial services representatives within the company, but was not hired because of her disorder.

"Defendant, on information and belief, considered the applications of and eventually hired individuals with much less experience in the banking industry than plaintiff and the individuals hired by defendant did not have a history of disability and/or were not perceived by Defendant as disabled or handicapped," the suit states.

Keller claims she has been treated for bipolar disorder and has successfully been treated. Still, the credit union refuses to hire her, according to the complaint.

In her two-count complaint, Keller seeks compensatory damages of more than $150,000 and punitive damages of more than $150,000, plus costs, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.

Lee W. Barron of Alton will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-953.

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