Gaming Company to Pay $3.5 Million to Settle Disability Bias Suit; Training Required

 
Friday, June 15, 2018
 
Nevada Restaurant Services, a large Las Vegas-based gaming company that operates slot machines, taverns and casinos in Nevada and Montana, will pay $3.5 million and provide other relief 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, since at least 2012, Nevada Restaurant Services violated federal law by maintaining a well-established companywide practice of requiring that employees with disabilities or medical conditions be 100 percent healed before returning to work. This policy does not allow for engagement in an interactive process or providing reasonable accommodations for disabled employees.

The EEOC also charged that Nevada Restaurant Services fired and/or forced employees to quit because they were regarded as disabled, had a record of disability, and/or were associated with someone with a disability.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). The EEOC filed suit in March 2018 (EEOC v. Nevada Restaurant Services, Case No. 2:18-cv-00954-JCM-CWH) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The consent decree settling the suit provides for $3.5 million in monetary relief for the discrimination victims. In addition, Nevada Restaurant Services will retain a consultant with ADA experience to review and revise company disability policies as appropriate. The company will also implement effective ADA training for human resources and supervisory personnel and staff. Additionally, Nevada Restaurant Services will develop a centralized tracking system for employee requests for disability accommodations. The company is also required to submit regular reports to the EEOC verifying compliance with the decree during its three-and-a-half-year term.

"Systemic disability discrimination is still all too prevalent," said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office, which includes Las Vegas in its jurisdiction. "Besides regularly examining established practices and ensuring that staff is adequately trained, employers must also ensure their decision makers follow through on that training by holding them accountable to complying with the ADA."
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