Detective Jackie Curatola played by Jennifer Esposito was one of the main characters in the early seasons of Blue Bloods. Her character remained on the show until season 3, when she went on a leave of absence.
Jackie did not return to the series until the season 13 finale, where she had a small role. Viewers didn’t see Jackie on the show because Jennifer decided to leave Blue Bloods and the exit was not favorable.
The actress was diagnosed with celiac disease, which, according to the official report of CBS, affected the work of the actress – Esposito was unable to meet the requirements of the job due to the change in availability caused by the celiac diagnosis, which allowed her to work only part-time, due to which Detective Curatola was sent on leave of absence.
All people with celiac disease are at risk for long-term complications. Patients have signs and symptoms of abdominal pain, depression and anxiety, headaches or migraines, and more.
However, according to the actress herself, after the diagnosis, the doctor prescribed reduced work hours for her, and the production team did not take this into account.
As a result, Jennifer collapsed on set and was forced to take a week off to recover.
However, CBS was in no hurry to bring the actress back to the show when she was ready to return to the set: “It’s been almost two months without (bringing) me back to work.”
Moreover, according to the actress, CBS implied that she wasn’t sick and that her illness was actually a plan to get a raise.
CBS did not provide the actress with a reasonable accommodation, and Esposito planned to sue with the case based on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If the actress took the case to court, she would have to prove that CBS did not provide her with reasonable accommodations related to her diagnosis.
According to one of the lawyers, CBS could have argued undue hardship in response to the allegations, stating that the reduction in hours Esposito requested was inconsistent with the importance of her character and would increase the financial cost of the show.
Apparently, the actress did not want to pursue a lengthy and energy-intensive lawsuit, so no charges were ever filed.