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EEOC Resolves Disability Cases On Behalf Of Temporary Employees

Published by on January 22, 2015

According to a press release issued December 19, 2014, the EEOC resolved a disability discrimination suit involving a temporary employee working for Bank of America in Chicago.  The EEOC alleged that the bank failed to accommodate the temporary employee’s visual impairment and instead terminated his temporary assignment as a data entry worker after one day on […]

According to a press release issued December 19, 2014, the EEOC resolved a disability discrimination suit involving a temporary employee working for Bank of America in Chicago.  The EEOC alleged that the bank failed to accommodate the temporary employee’s visual impairment and instead terminated his temporary assignment as a data entry worker after one day on the job.  Hot on the heels of Bank of America was a second press release issued December 23, 2014, announcing that Sony Electronics, Inc. has resolved a similar lawsuit also involving a temporary employee.

Under the terms of the settlement, Bank of America will pay a whopping $110,000 to resolve the suit (a significant sum of money for an employee on the job for one day!).  In addition to monetary damages, injunctions were entered in both cases requiring the companies to provide reasonable accommodations to temporary and contingent workers at its branches in Illinois, provide training about the ADA’s requirements, and comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

While the size of this settlement is surely a tough pill to swallow, it’s also a reminder for employers that the ADA and other equal employment opportunity laws apply to all employees, even temporary and contingent workers.  If an employee (any employee!) requests an accommodation to perform their job, it’s your responsibility to engage in the interactive process with them.

Laconic Lookout:  Do not forget that in most instances, an employer’s liability under federal and state equal employment opportunity laws may be the same for temporary workers as it is for regular employees.

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