Lawsuit alleges disability discrimination at Home Depot

The Americans With Disabilities Act generally requires employers to give reasonable accommodations to disabled employees. Home Depot, which has several locations in Arizona, is facing a lawsuit for failing to do so. The store in question is located in Peru, Illinois.

According to a lawsuit filed on Sept. 28 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the employee in question suffered from fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome. A short break would have been a reasonable accommodation that would have allowed her to take care of a medical situation, but her employer refused her the break. She was allegedly then terminated for inconsequential reasons that were caused by her inability to take the needed break.

The EEOC initially tried to resolve the issue with a settlement as part of its conciliation process. However, this was unsuccessful, so the agency filed a lawsuit. It is seeking punitive damages, compensatory damages and back pay. It is also seeking to change the practice of Home Depot so that something similar does not occur in the future. The case will be heard in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Workplace discrimination can take a number of different forms including discrimination against people who are disabled. Workplace discrimination is also prohibited against people on the basis of race, sex and religion among other protected classes. Some workplaces have mechanisms in place to deal with allegations of discrimination, but in some cases, those mechanisms may be ineffective. People may want to consult an attorney before trying to solve the problem in the workplace so they understand their rights. If the workplace is not responsive, the next step might be filing a claim with the EEOC.

Source: National Law Review, "EEOC Sues Home Depot For Disability Discrimination, Oct. 3, 2017

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