On Tuesday, a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Monmouth County against the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission for humiliating and discriminatory treatment when she went to have her license updated with a new address.
Moorestown, NJ - A lawsuit has been filed this morning in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Monmouth County, by a stage-2 breast cancer patient against the State of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) alleging disability discrimination under state law.
The plaintiff, Jennifer Giordano, had lost her hair due to eight rounds of chemotherapy treatment. On Wednesday, June 14, 2017, she went to the Eatontown MVC to secure a new license to reflect an updated address. Wearing a scarf known as a “chemo cap” to cover her bald head, she was confronted by an MVC employee who repeatedly demanded that she “take that thing off.” Despite Ms. Giordano’s attempts to explain that she was wearing a head wrap to deal with the effects of her treatment for breast cancer and asking, in tears, that her situation be accommodated, she was repeatedly rebuffed by the MVC employee, who continued to insist that she remove her head covering. It was only after repeated demands by the MVC employee that she remove her head wrap, met by Ms. Giordano’s tear-laden refusals to do so, that another employee of the MVC finally intervened, telling Ms. Giordano that, in fact, she could obtain a new license using the existing picture on file with the MVC.
In her Complaint (attached), her attorneys, Richard Schall and Patricia Barasch, note that over 3.1 million women in the United States, as of March 2017, have been treated or are being treated for breast cancer. “The treatment Jennifer received at the MVC was appalling and illegal. Breast cancer is a disability under the law and the MVC should not have harassed our client in this way—especially when the remedy—to use her old photograph—existed. The lawsuit seeks to have the MVC adopt policies and train its employees to ensure that other individuals in Jennifer’s situation are never treated this way going forward.”
Ms. Giordano says” When fighting a potentially deadly disease, no person should ever be treated as I was by the MVC. I am hoping this lawsuit will result in the Department taking the needed steps to insure no one is ever made to feel as I did."