Human Development, Inc. Sued by EEOC for Discriminating Against an Obese Employee
October 19, 2010
In recent news that our Riverside employment attorneys have been following, the U.S. Equal Employment Commission has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against Human Development, Inc. (RHD), for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, by firing an employee because of her disability--obesity.
According to the lawsuit, Lisa Harrison started working for the company in 1999, helping the children of drug-addicted mothers going through addiction treatment. Harrison was a Prevention and Intervention Specialist, and claimed that she was fired in the fall of 2007, because of discrimination against her severe obesity. Harrison reportedly died before the EEOC filed the lawsuit.
The EEOC claims in the lawsuit that because of her obesity, RHD found Harrison substantially limited in a number of major life activities, that included walking. The EEOC lawsuit claimed that Harrison was able to perform all of the necessary functions of her position. Her private interests in the lawsuit will reportedly be represented by her estate.
As our Carson, California employment lawyers have discussed in a previous blog, Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prevents private employers, local and state governments, employment agencies, and labor unions from engaging in discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in hiring, job advancement, job application compensation, employment training, firing, and other employment terms, conditions, and privileges. The ADA also requires that employers make reasonable accommodations for job applicants and workers with disabilities.
EEOC regional attorney Jim Sacher claimed that Harrison's obesity did not interfere with her job performance of providing care to young children. He hopes that filing this lawsuit will alert employers that they can't fire employees due to prejudice that is based on an employee's disability.
At Howard Law, PC our Anaheim labor lawyers believe that all employees are entitled to a workplace free from employment stereotypes that lead to unlawful disability discrimination through association. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against based on a disability in Orange County and throughout Southern California, contact our attorneys today.
EEOC Sues Resources for Human Development, Inc. for Disability Discrimination, EEOC Press Release, September 30, 2010
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