The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settled a disability discrimination and retaliation suit with a staffing agency for rescinding accommodations and retaliating agains the employee.
Testing Company Settles Federal Charges It Revoked Employee’s Disability-Related Accommodations and Fired Her When She Questioned the Decision
RALEIGH, N.C. – NSN, LLC, a Virginia Corporation which provides staffing for a licensing and vocational testing center in Raleigh, North Carolina, has agreed to pay $42,000 and provide other relief to settle a disability discrimination and retaliation lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s complaint, the employee for whom the EEOC sought relief worked as a part-time testing center administrator in the Raleigh testing center from 2016 until she was fired on Jan. 9, 2020. The EEOC said that after she was hired, NSN granted the employee certain reasonable accommodations for a disability.
The accommodations remained in place until the fall of 2019, when a new supervisor rescinded some of the previously granted accommodations. When the employee questioned the decision, NSN disciplined her and reduced her scheduled work hours. Then, six days after the employee complained in writing that NSN’s actions were discriminatory, NSN fired the employee, the EEOC said.
This alleged conduct violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which obligates employers to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. NNC, LLC, Case No. 5:22-cv-00237) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement via its voluntary conciliation process.
In addition to awarding damages to the affected employee, the two-year consent decree settling the suit prohibits NSN from discriminating and retaliating against employees in violation of the ADA in the future. NSN will also adopt and implement a new anti-discrimination, non-retaliation and disability accommodation policy and provide training to all managers and employees.
“This case demonstrates the importance of an employer’s obligation to properly train managers on the duty to provide reasonable accommodations under the ADA,” said Melinda C. Dugas, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District. “Employers must also ensure that any existing accommodations are communicated to and respected by new managers when there is a change in managerial personnel.”
The EEOC’s Charlotte District is charged with enforcing federal employment discrimination laws in North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.