The EEOC and Kroger Settle in a Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

NYC & Queens Employment Defense Attorney

As mentioned in an earlier blog, claims with the EEOC for ADA violations have been on the rise and many involve companies that are household names.

In September of 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued Kroger of Michigan for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations. The Kroger Company is a large Michigan grocery store chain with stores throughout the state.

Lawsuit Allegations Details

The Kroger store in Howell, Michigan had provided an employee, hired as a stock person, an accommodation to work as a cashier after being injured. This was a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. However, when medical professionals determined that the disability was permanent and not temporary, the store fired the employee. Firing an employee based on disability violates the ADA and provides grounds for a lawsuit. Kroger attempted to reach a voluntary settlement during the pre-litigation conciliation process but no settlement was reached. The EEOC lawsuit sought the following monetary compensation for the fired employee:

  • Back pay
  • Damages for emotional stress
  • Punitive damages

Settlement Details

Legal Newsline reported on June 1, 2016 that the EEOC and Kroger reached a settlement where Kroger will pay $35,000 along with other relief for ADA violations. The EEOC trial attorney pointed out that “Federal law expressly prohibits employers from refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities “ and she also stated, “An employer must always seriously consider whether it can make an accommodation before downgrading or firing employees.”

In addition to the compensation being provided to the employee, Kroger must provide managers and employees with ADA training.

Protect Your Business by Consulting with an Experienced Employment Law Attorney

Company policies should comply with federal and state laws, and at the first sign of  disability discrimination issues, it is wise to consult with an attorney. At Stephen Hans & Associates, we can provide you with sound and experienced legal guidance.

 

 

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