$35,000 Decree in Disability Discrimination Suit, Training Ordered

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

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

A federal  judge has approved a consent decree resolving a disability discrimination  lawsuit against Woodman’s Food
Market’s, Inc. filed by the U.S. Equal  Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced. In its lawsuit, the EEOC contended that Woodman’s  unlawfully fired employee because of her back condition.

The  EEOC charged that a Woodman’s store in Beloit,  Wis., terminated Kimberly  McMillan-Goodwin, a long-term Woodman’s employee who worked as a clerk at its  gas station, because she had a back condition that kept her from lifting more  than ten pounds. The EEOC contended that  McMillan-Goodwin had successfully worked in that position with the lifting  restriction for many years. Woodman’s,  however, placed McMillan-Goodwin on medical leave and then terminated her.

Disability  discrimination violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to  reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. On August 11, 2011, Chief Judge William M.  Conley of U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin approved the  decree ending the suit.

In resolution  of the suit, Woodman’s will pay $35,000 to McMillan-Goodwin. The decree also includes substantial other relief,  including injunctions against any further discrimination and retaliation. Further, the company will adopt a policy  prohibiting discrimination based on disability; update its employee handbooks; conduct  training on the ADA;  and post a notice to employees about the resolution of the suit in all of its  locations. The EEOC will monitor Woodman’s  compliance with the decree for two years.

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