Jewel-Osco Agrees to Pay $3.2 Million in EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit
January 6, 2011
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released news this week that our Fullerton employment attorneys have been following, announcing that a consent decree was signed by a federal judge for $3,200,000 and comprehensive remedial relief that resolves the EEOC's disability discrimination lawsuit that was brought against SUPERVALU INC., Jewel Food Stores, Inc., and American Drug Stores LLC--the supermarket group otherwise known as Jewel-Osco.
The EEOC reports that Jewel-Osco allegedly had a practice and policy in place, where disabled employees who tried to return from a medical leave of absence would be terminated, instead of being brought back to work and provided with reasonable accommodations in the workplace.
Under this disability discrimination policy, a reported 1,000 workers in the Chicago area have allegedly been terminated since 2003, violating the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). As our Westminster employment lawyers have reported in a related blog, under Title I of the ADA of 1990, private employers are prohibited from discriminating against qualified employees with disabilities in job applications and placement, in hiring, job advancement, compensation, firing, job training, and other employment terms, conditions, and privileges.
The consent decree that resolves the case provides a monetary fund that will be shared by 110 individuals, as not all of the 1,000 employees wished to be involved in the suit, or were deemed eligible by the EEOC, bringing the amount to around $29,000 per worker. Jewel-Osco is responsible for making sure that all employees who are involved in making disability accommodation decisions must go through training to understand the requirements of the ADA, and the type of disability accommodations that are possible for employees who are returning to the workplace.
Jewel-Osco is required to report to the EEOC regularly on how it will properly accommodate disabled employees who are trying to return back to work after an absence. The company is also planning to communicate more directly with disabled employees to inform them that they do not have to be entirely healed to come back and work for the company, and to educate them on the different types of disability accommodations that may be available to them when they returning to their jobs with medical restrictions.
In Orange County, California, contact our labor and employment attorneys at Howard Law, PC today for a free consultation.
Supervalu/Jewel-Osco to Pay $3.2 Million Under Consent Decree for Disability Bias, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, January 5, 2011
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