$38,000 Settlement in Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Against Finish Line, Inc., Training Ordered

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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

Indianapolis-based retailer Finish Line, Inc., a nationwide athletic apparel retailer, has agreed to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Finish Line refused to grant Emma Armon, who has a physical impairment related to a right shoulder injury, a transfer to an available customer service representative position as a reasonable accommodation to her disability. Armon, who worked at Finish Line’s Indianapolis store/warehouse, was qualified for the open position.

The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities as long as this poses no undue hardship. The EEOC filed the suit (Civil Action No. 1:10-cv-1686-JMS-DML) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The parties negotiated a consent decree which provides for $38,000 in monetary compensation to Armon, and injuctive relief in the form of anti-discrimination training for human resources and management-level personnel. Finish Line further agreed to formal posting of anti-discrimination notices and an agreement not to discriminate further based on disabilities.

“As the statute makes clear, failure to provide a reasonable accomodation for disabilities is in violation of federal law,” said Laurie Young, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office. “We are committed to pursuing justice for those who are denied the right to continue to work in their jobs and make a living because their physical impairments.”

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