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Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Claiming Disabled Employee Was Told He Was A Liability Filed By EEOC

Lawyer is holding Disability Discrimination Act DDA.

On March 27, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a press release announcing that it has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against Agri-AFC, LLC (Agri-AFC). On March 30, 2020, the EEOC filed the case, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Agri-AFC, LLC, Case No. 1:20-cv-114, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi after initially seeking to secure a pre-litigation resolution of the case through its lawfully mandated conciliation process.

The EEOC has brought the disability discrimination lawsuit pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on behalf of a former employee of Agri-AFC, Jean-Paul Bourgeois (Bourgeois). Under the ADA, employers are forbidden from discriminating against employees who have an actual disability, a record of disability, or regarded as having a disability. The EEOC claims that Agri-AFC violated the ADA by firing Bourgeois because of his disability. In this article, our Marion County, Florida wrongful termination lawyers explain the EEOC’s allegations against Agri-AFC.

On March 27, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a press release announcing that it has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against Agri-AFC, LLC (Agri-AFC). On March 30, 2020, the EEOC filed the case, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Agri-AFC, LLC, Case No. 1:20-cv-114, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi after initially seeking to secure a pre-litigation resolution of the case through its lawfully mandated conciliation process.

The EEOC has brought the disability discrimination lawsuit pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on behalf of a former employee of Agri-AFC, Jean-Paul Bourgeois (Bourgeois). Under the ADA, employers are forbidden from discriminating against employees who have an actual disability, a record of disability, or regarded as having a disability. The EEOC claims that Agri-AFC violated the ADA by firing Bourgeois because of his disability. In this article, our Marion County, Florida wrongful termination lawyers explain the EEOC’s allegations against Agri-AFC.

Employee Claims Wrongful Termination

Agri-AFC is an agriculture retailer headquartered in Decatur, Alabama. In October 2017, Bourgeois began working for Agri-AFC as a warehouse worker at its facility in Poplarville, Mississippi. As a warehouse worker, Bourgeois was responsible for operating a forklift and helping load product onto customers’ vehicles. In November 2017, Bourgeois had a casual conversation with a District Manager. The District Manager inquired about Bourgeois’ work history, and Bourgeois disclosed that he had previously sustained a back injury during his military service. Bourgeois also informed the District Manager that he takes medications for his back condition.

On December 6, 2017, Bourgeois met with an Operations Manager and Warehouse Manager. The Operations Manager told Bourgeois that the District Manager had “reservations” due to Bourgeois’ back injury. The Operations Manager instructed Bourgeois to provide a list of medications that he was currently prescribed, and Bourgeois complied. After Bourgeois provided the list of medications, the Operations Manager told Bourgeois that he would be notified of the District Manager’s decision. On December 11, 2017, the Operations Manager informed Bourgeois that he was being terminated. The Operations Manager stated that the District Manager felt that Bourgeois was a liability to the company because of his previous back injury and feared that Bourgeois would further injure himself.

Fighting Against Wrongful Termination

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the United States responsible for interpreting and enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. In enforcing the federal civil rights laws, the EEOC is also authorized by federal law to bring lawsuits on behalf of employees who have been wrongfully terminated in violation of the federal anti-discrimination laws. In a press release issued by the EEOC on March 27, 2020 regarding the case, a regional attorney for the EEOC’s Birmingham District Office, Marsha Rucker, explained that “employers should remember that the ADA provides protections to many applicants and employees who take prescription medication and limits the rights of employers to inquire about such use.” The ADA also “prohibits employers from taking action against such individuals,” Ms. Rucker added, “based on assumptions or fears that they will be liabilities instead of assets.” In commenting on the case, the Director of the EEOC’s Birmingham District Office, Bradley Anderson, stated that by “pursuing actions such as this, the EEOC continues to carry out Congress’ clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against persons with disabilities and to play key role in enforcing the ADA’s requirements.”

Consult With Ocala Wrongful Termination Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Marion County, Florida wrongful termination attorneys have dedicated their practice to fighting for employees. 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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