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Lost a Job in an Office Move?

You may be entitled to legal redress, according to a ruling in federal court that will allow a Chicago alcoholic to pursue a claim against his former employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act. District Judge Edmond Chang denied a request by the US arm of China Ocean Shipping Lines Company, or Cosco, to dismiss the suit brought by a former sales director who said he was effectively fired when he returned from a rehab stint to find his position had been moved to another state. Chang, who is seated in the Northern District of Illinois, said that Konrad Torszewski could pursue his claim because the state-owned Chinese company failed to accommodate his disease under terms both of the ADA and the state’s Human Rights Act.

Torszewski cited the support network he’d built in the Windy City as his reason for declining to follow his national-level job east after he’d come back to work in 2017. The formerly home-based Torszewski was told he would be needed in the company’s New Jersey office and was fired after he refused the move. While Chang didn’t rule on a claim that Cosco had violated the man’s rights, he did say Torszewski’s assertion that his drinking problem was behind the company’s decision to relocate the position was enough to allow the suit to proceed to a jury.