$8.6 Million Settlement in Disability Discrimination Case Against Lowe's, Training Ordered

Monday, May 16, 2016

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

 The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced the approval of the resolution of a nationwide disability discrimination case against home improvement, appliance and hardware giant Lowe's. U.S. District Court Judge André Birotte Jr. approved the consent decree which calls for the distribution of $8.6 million.

According to EEOC's suit, Lowe's violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination against people with disabilities by firing them and by failing to provide reason­able accommodations to them when their medical leaves of absence exceeded Lowe's 180-day (and, subsequently, 240-day) maximum leave policy. EEOC also charged that Lowe's violated the ADA by terminating individuals who were "regarded as" disabled, had a record of disability, and/or were associated with someone with a disability.

In addition to monetary relief, the four-year consent decree settling the suit requires that Lowe's retain a consultant with ADA experience to review and revise company policies as appro­priate; implement effective training for both supervisors and staff on the ADA; develop a centralized tracking system for employee requests for accommoda­tion; maintain an accommodation log; and post documentation related to this settlement. Lowe's is also required to submit regular reports to EEOC verifying compliance with the decree.

According to company information, Lowe's, a Fortune 50 company headquartered in Mooresville, N.C., operates more than 1,840 home improvement and hardware stores across North America. In 2014, company revenues totaled $56.2 billion.

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