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Employee Wrongfully Fired After Requesting Accommodation For Disability EEOC Lawsuit Contends

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In a press release issued on November 3, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against Strategic Equipment, LLC (Strategic Equipment). On November 3, 2020, the EEOC filed the case, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Strategic Equipment, LLC, Case No. 1:20-cv-01000, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. Before filing the lawsuit, the EEOC attempted to resolve the case through its voluntary conciliation process. Unable to reach an acceptable resolution through its conciliation efforts, the EEOC now seeks to remedy the alleged unlawful employment practices through litigation.

The EEOC has filed the disability discrimination lawsuit pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on behalf of a former employee of Strategic Equipment, Jean S. Perry (Perry). Under the ADA, disability discrimination is an unlawful employment practice. The ADA also mandates that employers provide reasonable accommodations for disabled employees. The EEOC claims that Strategic Equipment violated the ADA by refusing to provide Perry with a reasonable accommodation for her disability and by discharging Perry because of her disability. In this article, our Ocala, Florida wrongful termination lawyers explain the EEOC’s allegations against Strategic Equipment.

Employee Claims She Was Wrongfully Fired

Strategic Equipment is a company based in Massachusetts that specializes in the distribution of commercial kitchen equipment and supplies. On October 29, 2018, a third-party staffing agency (the Staffing Agency) placed Perry to work at Strategic Equipment as an accounts payable-costing clerk.

On December 2, 2018, Perry experienced difficulty breathing and went to the emergency room. Perry was thereafter admitted to the hospital. That same day, Perry was diagnosed with emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Because of the emphysema and chronic bronchitis, Perry has difficulty breathing when she walks more than thirty steps and requires the use of an oxygen device during certain activities. The EEOC contends that based on her medical conditions of emphysema and chronic bronchitis, Perry suffers from a disability within the meaning of the ADA.

Instead of providing her with a reasonable accommodation for her disability, the EEOC contends, Strategic Equipment contacted the Staffing Agency on December 4, 2018 and terminated Perry’s assignment with Strategic Equipment effective immediately. In terminating Perry’s assignment with the company, Strategic Equipment terminated Perry’s employment with the company. The EEOC claims that Strategic Equipment terminated Perry’s employment because of her disability within the meaning of the ADA.

Lawyers For Wrongful Termination Victims

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the United States responsible for interpreting and enforcing federal employment laws making discrimination, harassment, and retaliation unlawful employment practices. As part of its mandate to enforce the federal employment laws, Congress has also authorized the EEOC to file lawsuits on behalf employees who have been subjected to unlawful employment practices. In a press release issued by the EEOC on November 3, 2020 regarding the case, a regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office, Kara Haden, stated that “the obligation to accommodate an employee so that she can retain her job is a fundamental aspect of the ADA.” In further commenting on the case, Ms. Haden explained that “employers must provide accommodations that allow individuals to return to productive work when the company can do so without undue hardship.”

Ocala, FL Wrongful Termination Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Marion County, Florida wrongful termination attorneys have fought for employee rights for more than two decades. If you have been wrongfully terminated or have questions about your protection against wrongful termination under the federal employment laws, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Ocala, Florida wrongful termination lawyers. Our employment and labor law attorneys take wrongful termination cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.

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