The EEOC has just announced that it has settled an ADA suit against a Maryland company which, it was alleged, discriminated against an employee with hemophilia based upon the company’s “perception of his disability.”
What is interesting about the consent decree that was entered into is the wide range of remedies that the EEOC sought, and the variety of actions which the company is now required to take, besides simply paying the employee $50,000. An EEOC attorney stated that “This settlement achieves the EEOC’s objectives by providing relief to the victim while implementing measures to prevent future discrimination and retaliation.”
As the EEOC press release has described it, in settling the case the company must now:
• Refrain from retaliating against any person because that person complained about, or participated in the investigation of, any charge of employment discrimination;
• formulate written policies which provide for an effective complaint process for employees and independent contractors who work for the company to report employment discrimination and retaliation;
• provide a toll-free number and e-mail address that employees may use to report allegations of discrimination and retaliation;
• post a notice to employees on its commitment to follow the provisions of the ADA;
• identify its equal employment opportunity officer and provide an expert to evaluate future requests for reasonable accommodations under the ADA;
• submit reports to EEOC on the outcomes of its internal anti-discrimination investigations and reasonable accommodation requests;
• provide training to the manager and supervisors on the anti-discrimination provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ADA, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act; and
• submit reports to the EEOC regarding the company’s compliance with the consent decree.
Employers who think that the payment of money is the sum total of what it may be required to do if it is sued for discrimination should think twice. Money may be the least of it.