$80,000 Settlement in Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Against Supermarket Chain, Training Ordered

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Question:  Would disability discrimination training have prevented this case?  See our trainings at http://www.hrclassroom.com.

Dillon Companies, Inc., owners of the King Soopers supermarket chain in Colorado, will pay $80,000 to a mentally challenged employee who worked at its Lakewood, Colo., store and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According to the EEOC’s suit, filed on Sept. 18, 2009, King Soopers supervisors Gabby Sedillos, a head clerk, and Rachael Scott, a service manager, repeatedly subjected a ten-year employee, Justin Stringer, to repeated bullying and taunting because of his learning disability. The EEOC alleged that this harassment ultimately led to Stringer’s termination.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Dillon Companies, Inc., Case No. 09-cv-02237-ZLW-MEH) in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to the monetary settlement, King Soopers will provide training to all of its supervisors and managers about the ADA and how to properly interact with employees with special needs. King Soopers will also make periodic reports to the EEOC concerning all complaints of disability discrimination for the next three years.

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