(From left: Kiki Paris before her accident, and afterwards wearing a halo neckbrace and holding her separation papers from MSLO)
In May 2008, Kiki Paris, a senior director of national accounts at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s Body + Soul magazine fractured her spine after being hit by a car. Paris underwent surgery to screw her fractured vertebrae together and was placed in a halo neckbrace for 12 weeks to immobilize her spine. According to Paris, her supervisors at Body + Soul pressured her to go off disability and begin working from home nine weeks after her accident. Less than a month after she returned to work, Body + Soul executives came to her house and laid her off. Now, Paris has filed a disability discrimination claim against her former employers with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and her case may be headed to court.