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Company agrees to settle disability discrimination case

A company that manufactures home furnishings has agreed to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit.

The company failed to provide a disabled employee with reasonable accommodation and then fired the employee because of his disability, according to the lawsuit.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed the suit on behalf of the employee in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

Facts of the case

The EEOC charged that the North Carolina company violated federal law when it failed to provide a machine operator with an accommodation for his disability, which is diabetes. The EEOC also claimed the company fired the employee because of his disability.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, the man developed an infection and underwent surgery for amputation of one of his toes in March 2016. The employee also was diagnosed with nerve damage and needed more leave to recover.

In 2016, the employee informed the company of his anticipated return to work in June 2016. Then, the company sent the man a letter that said the company would be terminating his employment because he would not be able to return to work until June.

The EEOC said the company's actions violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991 (ADA), which requires employers to provide "reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with a disability unless doing so would be an undue hardship."

Settlement details

As part of the settlement, the company has agreed to:

  • Implement an ADA policy
  • Conduct annual ADA training for its human resources and management personnel
  • Report to the EEOC on its accommodation practices

"This settlement recognizes that employees with disabilities are important members of the workforce and should be provided equal opportunities to succeed in the workplace," the EEOC said in a statement.

Have you been discriminated against?

If you believe you have been discriminated against for a disability or other reason, contact an attorney who has experience with these types of cases.

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