Small Marketing Business Fired Employee Because of His COPD, Asthma and Emphysema, Federal Agency Charges
SAN DIEGO - InsideUp Inc., a San Diego-based marketing company, will pay $10,500 and provide other significant relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, a marketing consultant with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and asthma requested a reasonable accommodation. The consultant requested to work on the ground floor of an office building without an elevator, so he would not have to walk up and down the stairs with his condition. InsideUp not only refused his request but thereafter fired him due to his disability.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (EEOC v. InsideUp, Inc., Case No.: 3:17-cv-01961-CAB-JMA) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
As part of the four-year consent decree settling the suit, InsideUp will pay $10,500 to the discrimination victim. In addition to the monetary relief, InsideUp agreed to significant injunctive relief, including, but not limited to, training all its employees; revising its anti-discrimination and retaliation policies and procedures; centrally tracking requests for reasonable accommodations as well as complaints of discrimination and/or retaliation; regularly reporting to the EEOC; and posting a notice about the consent decree and settlement.
"We commend InsideUp for resolving this complaint early and agreeing to put in place measures to help prevent future disability discrimination in its workplace," said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District, which includes San Diego County in its jurisdiction. "Small businesses should regularly review their policies and procedures to ensure that they are in compliance with the ADA."
Christopher Green, director of the EEOC's San Diego Local Office, added, "It is important that employers appreciate their obligation to engage in the interactive process with, and provide a reasonable accommodation to, their disabled employees."
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.