Former Loan Company Clerk Wins $65,000 Settlement in Disability Bias Suit
December 16, 2009
Our Anaheim-based Employment and Labor Lawyers have been following the settlement announced today by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC)--where Economy Finance, a personal loan company, will pay a former loan clerk $65,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit.
According to the suit, a loan clerk for the company was refused the option of returning to work until she submitted to a medical exam that would detect viruses. The company insisted that the employee undergo virus testing, after they discovered that her husband had a medical condition related to Hepatitis C.
The EEOC, representing the case, protested that this medical exam was not related to her employment, and that her husband's disability did not affect the clerk's job performance or her ability to do her job effectively and safely. The EEOC alleged that Economy Finance discharged the employee because she refused to participate in the medical exam--and accused her of being disabled by association, because of her relationship with her husband.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) it is illegal to fire or discharge an employee who is considered to be disabled through association with someone who is disabled or believed to have a disability. Employee medical exams must be job-related, in direct correlation to as the EEOC claims "objective medical evidence" and workers should be judged on performance and abilities, rather than stereotypes and unfounded fear through association.
The consent decree signed in the settlement states that if Economy Finance resumes business within four years, they must put a policy into place, providing equal employment opportunities for workers covered by the ADA. Economy Finance will also be prohibited from subjecting employees to undergo medical examinations that are unlawful according to the ADA. The company must also provide four hours of training on the ADA for managers and supervisors within the facilities, and post a notice of compliance with the ADA provisions.
At Howard Law, PC, our employment and labor lawyers believe that all employees are entitled to a workplace free from unlawful disability discrimination or employment stereotypes that lead to disability discrimination through association. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against because of a disability in Orange County and throughout Southern California, contact our attorneys today.
Economy Finance Settles EEOC Disability Bias Suit, EEOC Press Release, December 16, 2009
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