A year of disability discrimination

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently closed out its fiscal year, giving observers an opportunity to look back and assess the enforcement areas in which the EEOC was most active over the past 12 months and to consider where it might be going in the next year.

A recent article about the federal agency pointed out that it was particularly aggressive in protecting workers from employer disability discrimination. One of the employers targeted was a retailer with several outlets in the Milwaukee area: Bath & Body Works.

The company sells products to make customers and their homes smell nice, but is accused in a lawsuit of refusing to consider an accommodation for an employee with vision difficulties due to diabetes.

Also on the list of companies accused of disability discrimination: IHG, a hotel chain that owns and operates a facility in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin – about three hours northwest of Milwaukee. Hotel management allegedly fired an employee for requesting two days off of work after he suffered a seizure.

A North Carolina company that creates real estate and title insurance software is accused by the EEOC of firing a worker after learning he was being treated for opioid addiction.

If the allegations against the companies are accurate, they would be clear violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating against workers with disabilities in matters including:

  • Hiring
  • Pay
  • Promotions
  • Benefits
  • Training
  • Firing

Those who have endured workplace disability discrimination should speak with a Milwaukee employment law firm experienced in protecting rights and careers.


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