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Sears, Roebuck Disability Settlement is Distributed--Court Approves $6.2 Million in Damages to Employees

February 8, 2010

In a recent blog, our Anaheim-based Employment Attorneys discussed a class action disability discrimination lawsuit settlement announced last year between Sears, Roebuck and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In September 2009, Sears agreed to a $6.2 million settlement under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) for allegedly maintaining a policy for workmans compensation leave that was inflexible, and involved the termination of employees without providing them reasonable accommodations for their disabilities. This case was the largest single lawsuit settlement in EEOC history under the ADA.

Last week, the EEOC announced the court approval of the distribution of a $6,200,000 compensation fund, that is being carried out according to the terms of the consent decree approved last year.

Under the consent decree terms, many employees who were terminated under the company's inflexible workers' leave policy were given claim forms to report back to the EEOC the extent of their disabilities, their professional ability to come back to work for Sears, and whether there has been any effort by Sears to facilitate their return to work. The result of the claim forms found 235 individual workers were qualified to be awarded in the settlement, with over twenty workers who did not qualify. The entire settlement fund will be distributed to the Sears employees--the EEOC will not retain any of the amount.

The EEOC reports that as a result of this longstanding disability discrimination lawsuit, originally filed in November 2004, there has been a positive effect from the consent decree. The EEOC believes that Sears has improved the process of taking a workers' compensation leave, and has lawfully posted employee notices covering the consent decree--ultimately benefiting the Sears employees and creating a stronger human resource process for employees.

Howard Law, PC protects worker's rights in disability discrimination cases and other labor and employment issues in Los Angeles County, Orange County and throughout Southern California. Contact our Anaheim-based Labor & Employment Attorneys today, to find the best solution for you.

Court Approves $6.2 Million Distribution in EEOC v. Sears Disability Settlement, EEOC Press Release, February 5, 2010

Sears, Roebuck to Pay $6.2 Million for Disability Bias, EEOC Press Release, September 29, 2009

EEOC Reaches $6.2M Disability Settlement with Sears, Business Insurance.com, September 29, 2009

Sears Roebuck Agrees to Record $6.2M ADA Settlement with EEOC, ADA Journal.com, September 29, 2009

Related Web Resources:

EEOC

Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, As Amended (ADA)