Disabled Employee to receive $50K--EEOC Settles Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Against America's Thrift Stores
January 28, 2013
In recent news that Vincent Howard of Orange County-based Howard Law, PC has been following, America's Thrift Stores of Alabama has been ordered to pay a $50,000 disability discrimination lawsuit settlement. The lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of a disabled employee who claims that she was fired based on her disability.
According to the EEOC lawsuit, employee Jenny Grimes, who had worked for the company for three years, was reportedly discriminated against when the company's Alabaster store refused to provide her with a reasonable accommodation after she let them know about her disability.
The EEOC contented that during her three years with the company, Grimes was a good employee, and after requesting an accommodation to perform some of her employment duties due to degenerative joint disease, her request was denied. One week later, Grimes reportedly presented the employer with documentation of her disability, whereupon she was fired from the company, and called a "liability."
The lawsuit claims that Grimes was able to perform the essential duties of her job with a reasonable accommodation. The EEOC also claimed that America's Thrift Stores had an overall policy of refusing to allow any employees with injuries that were not work-related to return to work with restrictions.
As Vincent Howard discussed in a related Anaheim employment lawyers blog post, under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), it is against the law for employers to discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in employment application procedures, job hiring, job termination, compensation, training, advancement or any other conditions, terms and privileges of employment.
Under the ADA, a qualified employee with a disability is an individual who with or without reasonable accommodation is able to perform the necessary duties of their job in question. Reasonable accommodation can include making the existing facilities usable and accessible by disabled people, restructuring job duties, and modifying work schedules. Accommodation can also include reassigning a job, acquiring equipment and devises for accommodation, adjusting examinations, policies or training materials, and providing interpreters or readers who are qualified. An employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation to the qualified disabled applicant unless it poses an undue hardship on the employer's business operations.
The consent decree that settled the lawsuit requires America's Thrift to pay $50,000 in monetary damages, and to train its employees regarding the employer's responsibility and the employees' rights under the ADA.
In Cypress, Fountain Valley, and Garden Grove, California, contact Vincent Howard at Howard Law, PC today, to discuss your California employment rights.
America's Thrift Stores Pays $50,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit, EEOC Press Release, January 28, 2013
Related Web Resources:
California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Fair Employment and Housing Act
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