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Horry County worker wanted time off for surgery, her boss said no, lawsuit claims

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An ex-Horry County employee says she faced discrimination and a hostile work environment for trying to take off because of medical issues, a lawsuit claims.

Jennifer Prince filed suit against Horry County in circuit court this week.

She started to work for the county as an administrative assistant in 2014 and was considered an exemplary employee, according to the filing.

In 2015, Prince had surgery and her condition got worse. The lawsuit claims a boss continually harassed her because of her medical issues.

On one occasion, the boss refused to allow time off for cancer or other treatments. The supervisor also made Prince reschedule several appointments, the filing claims. Prince had to take six weeks under the Family and Medical Leave Act for her conditions. The act allows employees to take unpaid leave for medical conditions.

Prince then needed additional surgery and requested more time off under the act, but the boss refused to allow the leave, the lawsuit argues.

The employer also said that if Prince took the leave she would not have a job when she returned, the suit contends.

Prince said that several times she was taken into a supervisor’s office and harassed, creating a hostile work environment, according to the filing. Prince reported the hostile work environment to human resources, but the department refused to take any action.

In August 2017, Prince again talked to her boss about surgery. The supervisor told Prince that she needed to talk to her doctor about going on disability because she “obviously did not want to work anymore,” the suit contends.

Prince rescheduled her surgery five times because of her boss’ demands that she be at work and available.

As a result of the harassment and hostile work environment, Prince had to resign from her job, the suit contends. She was also not allowed to work her two-weeks notice and was forced to leave her office a day after she informed her boss.

There were no accommodations provided for Prince and she faced harassment, retaliation and discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the filing argues. The suit asks for an unspecified amount of money.

County spokeswoman Kelly Moore said it is county policy not to comment on matters of pending litigation.

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