AutoZone to Pay $600K for Disability Discrimination and Failure to Accommodate
June 10, 2011
In a recent Pomona, California labor and employment lawyer blog, our attorneys discussed a current $1.5 million disability discrimination lawsuit judgment, where the City of Los Angeles was found to have violated the FEHA for not reasonably accommodating a disabled LAPD officer.
In related disability discrimination lawsuit news, an Illinois federal court jury decided on a $600,000 verdict against AutoZone, Inc., for not providing a disabled employee with reasonable accommodation.
According to the lawsuit, brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Commission (EEOC), AutoZone required a disabled sales manager to perform specific cleaning duties that violated his disability restrictions. The employee, who had been working for the store since 2003, had permanent neck and back injuries that prevented him from performing the tasks. The EEOC claimed in the lawsuit that the sales manager could perform all of the essential functions of his job--other than the assigned cleaning task of mopping floors--that according to the EEOC not an essential function of his sales manager position, and could be reassigned to another employee.
The sales manager reportedly asked if this cleaning duty could be reassigned to another employee, as it conflicted with this physical disability. The new store manager denied his request, requiring him to mop, which allegedly added to the further injury of the employee, as well as a medical leave of absence.
The EEOC claims that AutoZone was in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which requires that all employers make a reasonable accommodation to the disability of the employee, as well as the physical limitations--which may include eliminating or modifying a non-essential job duty, or transferring the non-essential job duty to another worker.
The jury awarded a verdict of $600,000 and an additional monetary claim of $115,000 in back payment that will be decided at another time.
In Oceanside, Garden Grove, and Corona, California, contact our labor and employment attorneys at Howard Law, PC today for a free consultation. Call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925.
EEOC Obtains $600,000 Verdict Against AutoZone For Failure To Accommodate Disabled Employee, U.S. Equal Employment Commission (EEOC), June 6, 2011
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