Pitt disability lawsuit settled by mediator

By Ashton Crawley, Senior Staff Writer

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A mediator resolved a disability lawsuit by a former Pitt employee against the University last month.

Estelle Belko filed a civil complaint on Oct. 4 against Pitt in federal court for allegedly firing her based on a disability, as well as retaliating against her when she attempted to continue workplace accommodations. She alleged that the University’s actions violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, and asked the court to award her back and front pay, lost benefits, damages and legal fees.

Belko said she disclosed her epilepsy to her employers in 2015 prior to starting her job in Pitt’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid as assistant director of financial aid and special programs. 

The case was referred to mediator Carole Katz and the mediation session was held March 10. The case was resolved the same day.

Belko’s lawyer, Vince Mersich, and Pitt spokesperson Kevin Zwick said the case was resolved privately and declined to comment on the case’s resolution. They also declined to say whether or not Belko’s job has been restored.