Disability discrimination lawsuit: Update

Many of our regular Milwaukee employment law blog readers might well recall a post we published in September of last year about a woman who worked for Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc., a worldwide supplier of aftermarket auto parts. Among the firms listed in the Hitachi Group directory is Waupaca Foundry, Inc., a company about a two-hour drive northwest of Milwaukee.

Hitachi Automotive was sued by the assembly operator when the firm refused to accommodate her disability. The woman recently agreed to settle her disability discrimination lawsuit for $85,000 and what the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) describes as “significant relief.”

According to the lawsuit, the woman has a medical condition that requires her to take frequent bathroom breaks. She was given a “positive evaluation” after successfully completing her probationary period. Hitachi then offered her a permanent assembly operator job.

During the hiring process, she asked for a reasonable accommodation, asking that she would be allowed to take additional bathroom breaks beyond her lunchtime and scheduled break. However, Hitachi decided that her request meant that she was unable to perform the job and it rescinded its permanent employment offer.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from making employment decisions based on disabilities. Companies cannot discriminate against workers or job applicants based on disabilities in the following areas: 

  • Hiring
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Training
  • Work-related activities
  • Promotions
  • Discharge

If you have been discriminated against by a Wisconsin employer on the basis of a disability, contact the Milwaukee law office of Alan C. Olson and Associates to schedule a consultation.


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