In Tennessee and all across the United States, employees with disabilities are supposed to be given reasonable accommodations that allow them to be able to work better according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, some companies fail to provide these accommodations and may even go as far as to fire an employee when they are asked to provide the accommodations for them. A recent lawsuit claims that Wal-Mart denied a twelve-year employee of its Tennessee distribution center a reasonable accommodation after he had cancer surgery which meant that he suffered weakness in his right shoulder. The lawsuit is also claiming that Wal-mart terminated him in retaliation for complaining about the company’s refusal to accommodate him.
This employee had been a successful forklift driver after his surgery. He had requested that Wal-mart not require him to cover a twenty minute break in the shipping department because it would require manual lifting. Wal-mart denied him the accommodation and discharged him. They claimed that he could not perform the essential functions of his job. The lawsuit was filed by the EEOC on the employee’s behalf after first trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement. This case was among the EEOC first lawsuits filed under the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 or the ADAA.
According to the settlement, Wal-mart will pay $275,000 and has to agree to an eighteen month consent decree which prevents them from further failing to provide reasonable accommodations, absent undue hardship or failing to follow proper procedures for handling requests that deal with the ADA or ADAA. This decree also requires Wal-mart to provide anti-disability discrimination training to its management staff, maintain records of any accommodation requests and furnish them to the EEOC and post a notice to employees about the lawsuit that includes the EEOC’s contact information.
If you or someone you care about has been fired from your place of work because you required a disability accommodation or if you were not given the accommodation, then you should talk to a Tennessee employment and ADA lawyer as soon as possible. They will work with you to make sure you get the compensation you need for what you have been through.
Contact us online or call us at 800.705.2121 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.