Lowe’s settles disability discrimination claims

Many Wisconsin residents shop at Lowe’s for their home improvement needs. They may be interested to learn that thousands of its former workers may receive compensation for wrongful termination. The company recently agreed to settle a slew of employment discrimination claims for $8.6 million. The lawsuit, filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The EEOC lawsuit stated that Lowe’s routinely fired employees for taking medical leaves of absence. The company had set up a maximum leave policy that it used to automatically fire employees once they had exceeded the company leave limit. According to the EEOC, Lowe’s policy on medical leave was discriminatory, and the company did not provide disabled workers with reasonable accommodation.

A general counsel for the EEOC said that the settlement with Lowe’s sends a message to other employers with similar medical leave policies that they might be violating the ADA. He said that the EEOC hopes other employers will choose to comply with the ADA voluntarily. As part of the settlement, Lowe’s must revise its policies with the assistance of an ADA consultant. A spokeswoman for Lowe’s said that the company had already modified its leave of absence policies in 2010.

Employers are not allowed to retaliate against an employee for taking medical leave. This is a clear violation of federal law, and a person who is in this position may want to have the assistance of counsel in initiating the legal process by filing a claim with the EEOC.

Source: disabilityscoop, “Lowe’s Paying Millions To Settle Disability Discrimination Case,” Shaun Heasley, May 13, 2016


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