Recently there have been numerous cases and settlements that prove the importance of complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For Big Lots, a recent suit serves to remind them, and the rest of us, of how vital compliance is. On November 27, 2019, Big Lots settled an EEOC disability discrimination suit for $100,000.
The retailer hired an employee with hearing and speech impediments. Co-workers began harassing the employee as a result of her disability, so the employee reported the harassment to her superiors. The superiors took no action to address the situation. It was also found that another, non-disabled employee was both discriminated against for her association with the harassed employee and retaliated against for trying to protect her co-worker from harassment.
Employers should evaluate handbooks and supervisor training to ensure policy and practice are consistent and compliant. Employers may also want to introduce training for all staff on diversity and inclusion. If you’re ever in doubt, do not hesitate to reach out to Employers Council.