California Solar Power Company Settles in Disability Discrimination Lawsuit
February 11, 2010
Our employment and labor attorneys at Howard Law, PC have been following the recent announcement of a lawsuit settlement, in which the California-based Akeena Solar Company will pay a former employee $30,000 to settle her disability discrimination lawsuit.
According to the suit, brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Gladys Tellez was hired as a payroll and accounts technician in November of 2006. Tellez is a 44-year old Latina employee, who has a left arm that is paralyzed, and was reportedly fired within a few hours of her first day on the job after her supervisor discovered the disability. The EEOC supported Tellez and her case, after determining that she was perfectly capable and qualified of performing her necessary job description, despite having a disability.
Akeena Solar will pay Tellez $30,000 in monetary damages, according to the consent decree, as well as commit to posting a notice detailing the company's compliance to the ADA, hold annual training to prevent disability discrimination, and report any disability discrimination complaints that surface in the next three years.
The EEOC stated that this resolution will hopefully encourage employers to give future disabled workers a chance to prove their own value and abilities in the workplace--whereas Tellez wasn't even given a full day to prove her value as an employee.
Under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), it is illegal to discriminate against disabled employees who are qualified when hiring, firing, in compensation, job application or advancement, training, and among other terms and conditions of employment. The ADA covers private employers, local and state governments, labor unions and employment agencies.
Akeena Solar is known to be a leading solar power company, designing and integrating solar power photovoltaic systems for commercial and residential customers in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.
If you or someone you know in Orange County and throughout Southern California, has been discriminated against because of a disability, contact Howard Law, PC today to schedule a free consultation about your employment rights.
Akeena Solar Settles Disability Discrimination Suit, EEOC Press Release, February 10, 2010
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