As if we didn’t know, this is the EEOC’s mantra these days, most recently stated in a press release announcing a new ADA lawsuit by a used car manager against a Ford dealership in Arkansas.
The EEOC alleges that after the manager had spinal surgery he asked the company for an accommodation — the use of a golf cart, which the dealership had on the premises, and assistance in test-driving cars. Rather than engaging him in a discussion as to the possibilty of a reasonable and not unduly burdensome accommodation, which we know the ADA requires, the company fired him.
An ADA attorney said later that “This employee had performed his job successfully for over one year, and only after his request for an accommodation did [the company] make the decision to fire him. Fighting disability discrimination is a priority for the EEOC.”
Takeaway: We have no idea whether this request by the manager was reasonable given the circumstances, or if it imposed an undue burden on the dealership. What the dealership did wrong was fail or refuse to discuss this request with the manager in an attempt to work out an appropriate accommodation, compounded by its firing him.