Macy’s to Pay $75,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit
CHICAGO – Macy’s will pay a former long-term employee the sum of $75,000 in order to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). According to the EEOC, Letisha Moore had been working for Macy’s for nearly eight years but had to miss one day due to an asthma-related emergency. Moore was treated in an emergency room and proceeded to call into work, then followed-up by providing Macy’s and her supervisor with proof of her ER visit.
Macy’s policy permits absences for disability-related reasons. However, in this case, Macy’s denied the employee’s request to excuse the absence, even though she had to be seen in a hospital emergency room, and fired her three weeks later.
“The (Americans With Disabilities Act) requires employers to reasonably accommodate disability-related absences that enable their employees to perform their job,” said Julianne Bowman, EEOC district director for Chicago. “Here, a one-day absence would have enabled the employee to return to a job she held for almost eight years.”
Macy’s will pay $75,000 in monetary relief to the employee as part of a consent decree settling the suit and will provide additional relief intended to improve Macy’s workplace for employees with disabilities. Under the decree, Macy’s will train certain employees on disability law and accommodation requirements under the ADA. Macy’s will also monitor requests for accommodation and complaints of disability discrimination at its two Chicago stores and report those to the EEOC.
“The ADA requires employers to reasonably accommodate disability-related absences that enable their employees to perform their job,” said Julianne Bowman, EEOC’s district director in Chicago. “Here, a one-day absence would have enabled the employee to return to the job she held for almost eight years. We are pleased with today’s settlement which will compensate the victim and monitor Macy’s accommodation practices with respect to the ADA.”
Greg Gochanour, the regional attorney of EEOC’s Chicago District Office, said,
“Macy’s response to the employee’s absence was not reasonable. The employee found herself in a potentially life-threatening circumstance and phoned Macy’s to explain her absence before going to the hospital. The following day, she provided Macy’s documentation from the hospital showing she was treated for asthma. Rather than accommodate the employee, Macy’s fired her.”
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