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Wisconsin hotel settles disability discrimination lawsuit for $60,000

If you drive about 180 miles northwest of Milwaukee, you'll arrive at Fort McCoy. Primarily a training base, the 60,000-acre facility is home to the IHG Army Hotel that provides lodging to military personnel and their families, contractors and other visitors.

The company that owns the hotel - PML Services - recently agreed to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by a woman who had worked for PML Services for slightly more than two months.

In her lawsuit, the woman said she has epilepsy and that she had a seizure at home after work. Afterwards, she phoned her supervisor and asked for two days off of work to recover from her seizure.

When she returned to her job, the supervisor and hotel manager fired her, telling her that her absences had occurred during her probationary period.

However, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers are prohibited from discrimination based on disability at all times, including during the hiring process and during an employee's probation period.

As part of the settlement, PML Services agreed to pay the woman $60,000, and agreed to ADA training for its employees and to report to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) any requests from its employees for reasonable accommodations.

The U.S. Department of Labor says on its website that "a reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done during the hiring process." The modifications enable people with disabilities to not only get hired, but to perform jobs "to the same extent as people without disabilities."

A spokesperson for the EEOC said, "An employer cannot decline to make reasonable accommodations for a disability or follow the other requirements of the ADA simply because an employee is considered 'probationary' or has only worked for a short period of time."

If a Milwaukee employer has violated your workplace rights, contact the employment law attorneys at Alan C. Olson and Associates. 

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