California's Comfort Suites Settles Disability Discrimination Lawsuit for $132,500
November 8, 2011
According to a recent news report from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that our Costa Mesa labor and employment attorneys have been following, a local California hotel operator and developer has been ordered to pay over $132,500 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit, filed by the commission on behalf of a former Autistic hotel employee.
The EEOC charged that Tarsadia Hotels, known as Comfort Suites in business, discriminated against a former front desk employee, working in a San Diego, California Comfort Suites Hotel, by denying him reasonable accommodation for his disability during his employment. Before this position, the hotel clerk had previous experience in the hospitality industry, where his work garnered him a positive recommendation for employment--but claims that he experienced disability discrimination and wrongful termination at Comfort Suites, because of his autism.
The lawsuit claims that shortly after the employee began his work at Comfort Suites, he looked into free job coach services from the state--offering autism-specific training techniques to help the clerk learn to master his work responsibilities. Tarsadia reportedly refused to allow the clerk the assistance of a job coach, and then terminated the clerk's employment.
As our Anaheim employment lawyers blog has reported in a recent post, under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) it is against the law to discriminate against individuals who are qualified, yet suffer from disabilities in job application, hiring, job advancement, compensation, training, firing, and other employment terms and conditions.
As part of the California disability discrimination lawsuit settlement, Tarsadia will pay the former employee $125,000, along with donating $7,500 to the San Diego non-profit organization, Partnerships With Industry, a group providing disabled people with support. Tarsadia also reportedly agreed to revise its employment policies and procedures to ensure that the company complies with the ADA, and is prepared to properly handle requests for reasonable accommodation, along with complaints related to disabilities. The company also agreed that all supervisors and managers will be held responsible and accountable for their evaluations of ADA compliance--with policies against and retaliation and disability discrimination in the workplace.
The EEOC claimed in the settlement that employers should learn to comply with the ADA rather than hold discriminating stereotypes about individuals with disabilities like autism, as a reasonable accommodation is often of little cost and only involves a channel of open communication between the employee and the employer--in order to create a successful work environment for everyone.
At Howard Law, PC our attorneys and professionals believe that all employees are entitled to a workplace free from employment stereotypes that can lead to disability discrimination through association. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against based on a disability in Orange County, California, contact our attorneys today.
Comfort Suites To Pay $132,500 For Disability Discrimination Against Clerk With Autism, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, November 7, 2011
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