Navigating the ADA: A Beacon of Protection Against Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination laws protect blind employees accommodations for service dogs. Helmer Friedman LLP vigorously protects the rights of all employees.

In a recent string of landmark settlements, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has proven, once again, its indispensable role in the fight against workplace discrimination. Notably, these cases underscore the reality that despite being over three decades old, the ADA remains a critical shield for employees against unfair treatment based on disabilities.

Unpacking Recent Settlements

Among the headline-grabbing decisions, three cases stand out for their implications and the sizeable financial repercussions for the offending employers:

  • Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. found itself at the wrong end of a legal battle when the Western District of New York ruled against it, resulting in a $255,000 settlement (EEOC v. Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc., 6:23-cv-06397). This case serves as a stark reminder that disability discrimination can not only tarnish a company’s reputation but also lead to significant financial losses.
     
  • Pete’s Car Smart, in Civil Action No. 2:23-cv-00092-Z-BR, was ordered to pay $145,000 following allegations of ADA violations. This litigation spotlights the importance of equitable treatment in all aspects of employment, from hiring to day-to-day job functions.
     
  • Perhaps most notably, McLane/Eastern, Inc. d/b/a McLane Northeast faced a whopping $1,675,000 settlement (EEOC v. McLane/Eastern, Inc. d/b/a McLane Northeast, Civil Action No. 5:20-cv-01628-BKS-ML). This settlement underscores the extensive reach of the ADA and serves as a cautionary tale to employers across industries about the severe consequences of non-compliance.
     

Understanding ADA Protections

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is more than just a statute; it’s a declaration of fairness and equality. The ADA sets forth clear guidelines that protect individuals with disabilities from discriminatory practices, including but not limited to job application procedures, hiring, termination, compensation, and advancement.

For qualified individuals, this means an equitable chance at not just securing employment but prospering within their chosen field without fear of discrimination due to their disabilities. The legislation mandates reasonable accommodations, ensuring that the work environment adapts to the needs of the employee, not vice versa.

The Implications for Employers and Employees

These recent settlements tell a dual narrative of caution and empowerment. For employers, they represent a clarion call to revisit and, if necessary, overhaul internal policies, ensuring they align with ADA standards. Ignorance, intentional or otherwise, leads to costly legal entanglements with profound financial and reputational damage.

For employees, these cases reinforce the ADA’s role as a vigilant protector of rights. They offer a semblance of reassurance that injustices do not go unchecked and that the legal system can and will hold employers accountable for discrimination.

Moving Forward: An Advocacy for Compliance and Awareness

The ADA’s clear stance on discrimination forms the bedrock upon which employees can stand firm, demanding fair treatment and equal opportunities. Moreover, these court cases should not just be viewed through the lens of legal precedents; they are also critical learning opportunities for both employers and employees.

Employers must view ADA compliance not as a checklist but as a fundamental aspect of organizational culture that champions diversity and inclusion. For employees, awareness of these protections equips them with the knowledge to navigate and challenge discriminatory practices confidently.

In the ongoing journey toward workplace equality, the ADA remains a powerful force. However, it’s not just about adherence to the law; it’s about cultivating an environment where every employee, regardless of disability, can thrive. As these recent settlements highlight, when it comes to protecting the rights and dignity of employees with disabilities, the ADA is not just a shield; it’s a beacon guiding the way toward a more inclusive and equitable workplace.

Racial Harassment, Retaliation Lawsuit Settled for $105,000.

Helmer Friedman LLP protecting employee right to worplace free of racial harassment. Affordable Home Furnishings sued for racial discrimination.

Standing Up Against Workplace Racial Harassment: The Fight for Justice and Equality

Rise above the tide and stand against racial harassment in the workplace! Every individual has the right to a professional environment free from any form of racial discrimination. The lawsuit against Affordable Home Furnishings, where justice was served to an employee who faced racial harassment, serves as a profound testament to this belief.

The incident unfolded in their Florida Boulevard store where a white account manager racially harassed repeatedly using the word “n****r” while working with an African American manager-in-training. This deplorable act, followed by the inappropriate retaliatory firing of the manager-in-training for reporting the incident, was a gross violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Fearlessly, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) spearheaded the fight for justice. The result – a consent decree that ensured Affordable Home Furnishings paid $105,000 in back pay and damages to the former employee. Further measures included the company implementing training requirements, revising policies, setting up a complaint hotline, providing regular reports to the EEOC, as well as posting a notice affirming their commitment to Title VII.

The EEOC’s stand against racial harassment sends a powerful message to America at large – racial harassment and discrimination have no place in our workplaces. Federal and state laws are steadfast protectors of every employee’s right to a harassment-free work environment. To learn more about the laws prohibiting race discrimination and retaliation, visit www.HelmerFriedman.com.

Remember, together we can build a future fueled by respect, understanding, and racial harmony. Each one of us carries the flame that can light up the darkness of racial discrimination. Let’s stop racial harassment in the workplace, today and every day.

Anxiety Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Citizens Bank

Federal laws protect employees from discrimination, employer retaliation.

Anxiety Disability Discrimination Lawsuit against Citizens Bank Settles for $100,000

Citizens Bank has been accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by refusing to accommodate a call center employee who developed an anxiety disorder. The employee requested reassignment to a position that did not require him to field calls with aggravated customers over the phone. Despite having hundreds of nearby job openings, Citizens Bank refused to reassign the employee or discuss alternative accommodations until he returned to his job at the call center, the same position his disability prevented him from performing. As a result, the employee was forced to resign.

“We’ve seen a huge uptick in the number of potential or prospective clients calling us since the pandemic began with regard to either mental health issues in general or anxiety and PTSD.” Andrew H. Friedman – in an Law360 article entitled, No Letup in Sight as Anxiety-Related EEOC Charges Mount.

The EEOC filed a lawsuit (EEOC v. Citizens Bank, N.A., Civil Action No. 1:19-cv-00362) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC alleges that Citizens Bank violated the ADA, which prohibits discrimination against employees with disabilities and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations, including reassignment.

According to the EEOC, 2600 workers lodged anxiety-related disability discrimination charges in 2021. Citizens Bank has agreed to a 30-month consent decree that includes monetary relief and other measures to support employees with disabilities. The bank will offer noncompetitive reassignment as a reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities. The bank will also revise its reasonable accommodation policy, train its employees on noncompetitive reassignment as a reasonable accommodation, provide specialized training to its human resources department, and appoint an internal monitor to ensure compliance with the decree.

The EEOC is committed to enforcing the ADA and ensuring that qualified employees with disabilities can return to work. Citizens Bank will implement company-wide policy changes and pay $100,000 to a former Cranston, Rhode Island, call center employee to resolve the disability discrimination lawsuit.

More information about disability discrimination is available at https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc-disability-related-resources.

Physical and Verbal Harassment

Sexual harassment causes long term damage to the victims psyche.

Sun Chemical Sued for Failure to Correct Racial Discrimination

An employee at Sun Chemical manufacturing facility in Kansas City, Missouri, was subjected to racial harassment by a coworker. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that the victim faced verbal and physical harassment, including being called the N-word, which was known to other employees. Yet, the management failed to take corrective actions against the harasser. To make matters worse, when the employee complained about the harassment, Sun Chemical issued him a written warning for using profanity against the harasser. This is unacceptable. The lawsuit filed against Sun Chemical demands justice for the victim and action from the company to prevent future racial discrimination. We must stand together against racial harassment in the workplace.

Walmart Pays $87,500 to Settle Unlawful Retaliation Lawsuit

Walmart settles Retaliation Lawsuit.

Two Adult Children Were Unlawfully Rejected for Jobs Because of Mother’s Prior Sex Discrimination Complaint

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Wal-Mart Associates, Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores East, Inc., L.P. (doing business as Walmart stores in Albuquerque) for retaliation. The lawsuit claimed that Walmart Store #835 on Eubank in Northeast Albuquerque refused to hire Ramona Bradford’s adult son and daughter for entry-level positions because Ms. Bradford had filed a sex discrimination charge against Wal-Mart with the EEOC.

Retaliation against employees because of their opposition to discrimination or participation in protected activity, such as filing a discrimination charge, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC also alleged that Ramona Bradford was a victim of retaliation because her two adult children were being denied employment because she was complaining about discrimination and her charge filing.

The consent decree settling the suit provides for monetary relief for the Bradfords, as well as an injunction prohibiting retaliatory practices, training for managerial employees on retaliation, and posting a notice advising employees of their rights under Title VII.

Retaliation continues to be a high priority for the EEOC, which receives more retaliation charges than any other kind of discrimination charges. The EEOC is pleased that this case could be resolved for the Bradfords and mandates that Wal-Mart train its managers about retaliation.

Eliminating policies and practices that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising their rights under employment discrimination statutes or that impede the EEOC’s investigative or enforcement efforts is one of six national priorities identified by the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).

Race, National Origin, Age Discrimination and Retaliation lawsuit filed against HCA Healthcare

Age discrimination is illegal, intentionally inflicts emotional distress. Contact the Age Discrimination Lawyers Helmer Friedman LLP for help.

A federal agency has charged that a for-profit graduate medical education provider in Nashville terminated an employee for filing a discrimination complaint.

HCA Healthcare, Inc. (along with its divisions Tennessee Healthcare Management, Inc. and GME Overhead), a for-profit healthcare corporation based in Nashville that provides graduate medical education in over 2,300 facilities, is facing a lawsuit. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has accused HCA Healthcare of violating federal law by denying a promotion to an employee based on his age, race, and national origin and subsequently firing him in retaliation for complaining about the discrimination.

The employee, who is Asian American, has claimed that despite meeting all necessary qualifications, HCA Healthcare selected an underqualified white candidate for the promotion over him. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is seeking injunctive and monetary relief against HCA Healthcare for violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Race and national origin discrimination is illegal and harmful, intentionally inflicting emotional and financial distress. Contact the National Origin Discrimination attorneys Beverly Hills Helmer Friedman LLP for help.

It is imperative to abide by state and federal laws that prohibit any form of discrimination based on race or nationality in the workplace. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically Title VII, is a critical law that unequivocally prohibits racial discrimination in every aspect of employment. Employers are legally bound to ensure they do not engage in discriminatory practices such as refusing to hire or promote someone or treating them unfairly regarding compensation or job benefits due to their race or national origin.

Age discrimination and harassment are strictly prohibited by both California and Federal law. It is important to note that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”) is a federal law that provides extensive protection to individuals aged 40 or above from age-based discrimination in employment. Any form of discrimination against a person due to their age with respect to any employment term, condition, or privilege, including but not limited to hiring, firing, layoff, compensation, promotion, or job assignments, is considered illegal under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

It is worth noting that HCA Healthcare owns and operates over 100 hospitals and employs over 275,000 people in multiple states and the United Kingdom.

R3 Government Solutions to Pay $82,500 to Settle Discrimination and Retaliation Lawsuit

Age discrimination is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

R3 Government Solutions, LLC, a federal contractor, has agreed to pay $82,500 and provide other relief to settle a race discrimination and retaliation case filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The lawsuit claimed that R3 had discriminated against and retaliated against a Black woman who worked for the company as a recruiter. The EEOC alleged that the recruiter opposed R3’s discriminatory hiring practices, which included rejecting candidates based on age and disadvantaging them due to their race or national origin. The company fired her after she spoke out against these hiring practices.

This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits retaliation and race discrimination, as well as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which prohibits retaliation against employees who oppose age discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia after trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its administrative conciliation process.

It is important to hold employers accountable when they retaliate against employees who oppose discriminatory hiring practices. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is committed to preventing and remedying discrimination and retaliation in the workplace. Retaliation against employees who speak up against discriminatory conduct cannot be tolerated. The EEOC is dedicated to seeking relief for workers who take a stand against their employer’s discriminatory behavior.