In a statement, the Smyrna-based archdiocese called Elkins’ termination “an unfortunate result of the COVID crisis which has caused a reduction in force. Ms. Elkins held the position as an event planner. Her age and health condition played no role in the employment decision brought about by the pandemic.”
Elkins was terminated, effective Dec. 21, 2020 and has been unable to find work, according to the lawsuit. Since her termination, the complaint alleges she has not been considered for other jobs within the archdiocese.
Elkins was “a long-standing loyal employee of the archdiocese,” Ed Buckley, managing partner of Buckley Beal, the law firm representing Elkins, said in an interview. “... She needed some accommodation, but she was able to work and willing to work.”
Elkins says that she and four other people were fired around the same time. Of those, the complaint alleges, three were elderly, including one battling cancer; and one who was pregnant.
The lawsuit seeks, among other things, Elkins’ reinstatement with back pay, lost benefits, punitive and compensatory damages.