CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A longtime spokesperson for the City of Charlotte is suing the city claiming she was the victim of discrimination.
Linda Durrett has been with the city since 2007 and is the spokesperson for the Department of Transportation.
She says she was happy with her career with the city until April 2012 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“That is a horrible diagnosis and when you get that diagnosis, it’s shocking. Your whole life turns totally upside down,” she said in an exclusive interview with NBC Charlotte’s Rad Berky.
Surgery and radiation freed Durrett from cancer, but she says it left her unable to raise her right hand for extended periods of time. She also experiences numbness in her right shoulder and nerve damage.
After her recovery, she went back to work for the city but it was not the kind of welcome back she expected.
“I needed some help. I needed special accommodations and some understanding and I feel I didn’t get it,” said Durrett.
Durrett’s attorney Julie Fosbinder says what happened to Durrett is a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. The act mandates that large companies make accommodations for the disabled.
Fosbinder said Durrett was, “asking for a working laptop, voice activated software, and a certain type of keyboard. Things that we all know would not cost a lot of money.”
Instead, the suit claims Durrett was, “threatened, harassed and ridiculed after making her requests.”
Said Durrett, “I want to be treated fairly and I want all people to be treated fairly.”
Durrett is not a household name but she has been the face and voice of the Transportation Department on everything from safe streets to snow clearing.
“I love working for the city…It breaks my heart that I have to take this route.”
A different spokesperson for the City of Charlotte said the city would not comment on personnel matter of this nature.