Macy’s will pay a former long-term employee $75,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed in Illinois filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
According to the federal employment agency, the EEOC’s lawsuit charged Macy’s with firing an asthmatic employee, rather than excuse a one-day absence the employee needed to address emergency complications arising from her disability. This alleged conduct violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the EEOC said.
The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Macy’s, Inc/Macy’s Retail Holdings, Inc.; Civil Action No. 17-cv-05959) on Aug. 16, 2017, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through the EEOC’s conciliation process.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the asthmatic employee worked for Macy’s for nearly eight years, but she was fired after a one-day absence due to needing immediate medical attention for her asthma. 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 EEOC said 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.
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