Lawsuit: Tiffany Pushed Out Employee with Cancer Mutation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A former employee of Tiffany & Co. says the jewelry maker pushed her out after she had her breasts and ovaries removed to avoid getting cancer.

Lisa O’Rourke alleges in a federal lawsuit that the New York-based company discriminated against her because she carries a gene mutation that put her at high risk for developing cancer. She says she was compelled to have surgeries that her lawyer calls life-saving.

Tiffany is fighting the lawsuit, filed in Rhode Island, and says it believes the allegations are “completely without merit.”

O’Rourke says she decided to sue, and to speak about what she experienced, because she wants to spread the word to Tiffany’s customers, including high-profile women affected by breast cancer, including Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga.