Lowe’s, the home improvement store chain, recently settled for $8.6 million its disability discrimination lawsuit with the EEOC. The EEOC is the US agency that enforces federal anti-discrimination laws in the workplace. At issue was Lowe's rigid leave policy that automatically terminated employees if they reached their leave limit. The settlement suggests that Lowe’s did indeed violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Here are a few of the violations that the EEOC claimed the Fortune 50 company committed:
- Lowe’s failed to provide alternative accommodations for employees who had maxed out their leaves of absence (between 180-240 days.)
- Lowe’s terminated employees who were either currently disabled, had a history of being disabled, or were associated with someone disabled.
In addition to paying the settlement, Lowe’s is also required to work with an ADA consultant over the next four years in order to ensure that the company’s policies are inclusive. The company must also provide adequate ADA training to managers and supervisors of the company, implement a tracking system that allows supervisors to track and manage leaves of absence, and submit regular reports to the EEOC that proves the company is complying with the ADA.
Anyone who was employed by Lowe’s between January 1, 2004 and May 13, 2010 and then terminated after maxing out their leave of absence, may be eligible to receive a claim.
Believe it or not there are many large companies who have disability leave policies that are in direct violation of California and Federal disability laws.
If you have been the fired for taking too much disability leave, please contact our office immediately.
*image by Flickr
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