Hotel Desk Clerk Fired for Needing Oxygen Tank

Chicago Tribune; October 4, 2013

Donna Colvin loved her job as the overnight desk clerk at the Paddle Wheel Inn, especially the quiet hours spent tidying the lobby and laying out the morning’s continental breakfast while guests were still fast asleep.

Even when respiratory ailments briefly sidelined her two years ago, Colvin was determined to keep working at the charming inn, situated on the banks of the Rock River about 90 miles west of Chicago.

Heeding her doctor’s advice, Colvin informed the inn’s manager that she would have to be on oxygen while she worked. The next day, she learned by letter that she had been fired.

On Thursday, the 51-year-old filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the Paddle Wheel Inn violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by dismissing her without attempting to accommodate her need for a small oxygen tank.

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