Disability comes in many different forms, and it is the duty of employers to both avoid discrimination and provide reasonable accommodation. OHM Concessions Group, LLC and their subsidiary, coffee chain Dunkin’ Donuts, are being sued for forgetting these responsibilities laid out by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A regional manager for Dunkin’ Donuts was fired for having to take time off after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The manager, who had otherwise performed her job duties successfully, requested 4-8 weeks of leave, unpaid, to undergo treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Rather than providing reasonable accommodation, her supervisor fired her, just three days before her medical leave began.
A representative of the EEOC said providing this time off was not only an act of compassion, but it was also federal law. The only exemption to providing this reasonable accommodation is if it caused undue hardship, which would be up to the employer to prove. In addition, some employers still do not understand that needing to take leave in order to receive medical treatment for a disease like breast cancer does fall under ADA law.
As of now, there is no announced trial date if the case is not settled outside of court. Individuals who live with disabilities should remember that their employers cannot discriminate against them. Anyone in Wisconsin who has faced disability discrimination should contact an employment law attorney in order to discuss whether they are entitled to any compensation.
Source: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “EEOC Sues Dunkin’ Donuts for Disability Discrimination,” EEOC, July 6, 2015