Wholesale Distributor in Louisiana to Pay $140K to Settle Disability Discrimination Suit

A wholesale distributor based in Jefferson Parish, La., has agreed to pay $140,000 and provide other significant relief to settle a federal disability discrimination lawsuit.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in its suit that Imperial Trading Company LLC, violated federal law by subjecting workers to illegal pre-employment medical inquiries and failing to reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Imperial had a practice of discharging employees if they became disabled, and Imperial would not consider them for rehire unless they proved they were “100% healed” from their impairment and/or could provide a no-restrictions release upon their return to work from medical leave.

The suit alleged that the company discharged employees who could not satisfy these requirements. The suit also contended that Imperial would not consider granting certain reasonable accommodations to workers recovering from disabling impairments.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (Civil Action No. 2:18-cv-8930) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Imperial distributes products for convenience stores.

Under the terms of the three-year consent decree settling the case, Imperial will pay $140,000 in monetary relief to workers who were affected by the alleged unlawful practices. Imperial also agreed to other relief, including discontinuation of practices challenged by the EEOC as unlawful.

Source: EEOC