Staffing Agency and Manufacturer Failed to Accommodate and Instead Fired Long-Term Temporary Worker With Kidney Condition, Agency Charged
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Remedy Intelligent Staffing, LLC, a California-based staffing firm, and Lornamead, Inc., a manufacturer headquartered in New York City, will pay $50,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today. The EEOC charged that Remedy and Lornamead violated federal law when they refused to provide a reasonable accommodation to a long-term temporary employee that would have enabled him to continue to work after his kidney condition worsened, and instead ended his employment.
According to the EEOC's suit, David Gaiser II was hired by Remedy and assigned to work as a general laborer at Lornamead's Tonawanda, N.Y., facility in June 2013. During his employment, Gaiser was diagnosed with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, a chronic condition characterized by the growth of multiple cysts in the kidneys. In June 2016, Gaiser was assigned to run a machine that required continual bending and twisting, which aggravated his kidney condition and caused him severe pain. Gaiser suggested several accommodations that could enable him to perform his job duties. Instead, Lornamead directed Remedy to end Gaiser's three-year assignment at Lornamead. Remedy failed to place Gaiser at another job with a different client.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination based on disability and requires employers to provide a reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Lornamead, Inc. and Remedy Intelligent Staffing, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:18-cv- 00841) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, Buffalo Division, after first attempting a pre-litigation settlement through the EEOC's conciliation process.
In addition to the $50,000 in monetary relief, the three-year consent decree settling the suit requires Lornamead to adopt new policies and procedures on disability discrimination and on providing accommodations to employees with disabilities. The decree also requires the company to train all supervisors, managers, and human resources personnel at the Tonawanda facility on Lornamead's obligations under the ADA. The company will also provide training to non-supervisory employees, including temporary employees placed by Remedy, on their rights under the ADA. Remedy will distribute its new policies explaining the ADA's prohibition against disability discrimination and Remedy's duty to provide reasonable accommodations to all employees and newly hired employees. Remedy will also provide training to all supervisors, managers, and human resources personnel responsible for temporary employees assigned to Lornamead's Tonawanda facility. The decree further subjects both employers to reporting, monitoring and record-keeping requirements.
"As joint employers, Remedy and Lornamead share a legal duty to provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities," said Jeffrey Burstein, regional attorney for the EEOC's New York District Office. "We appreciate both employers' willingness to resolve this case without protracted litigation."
Kevin Berry, district director of the New York District Office, said, "The purpose of the ADA is to ensure equal employment opportunities to qualified people with disabilities. Firing a person because he or she needs an accommodation due to a disability is against the law, and the EEOC will continue to hold employers accountable."
Elizabeth Fox-Solomon was the EEOC's lead trial attorney for this case.
The EEOC's New York District Office is responsible for processing discrimination charges, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, northern New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The Buffalo Local Office conducted the investigation resulting in this lawsuit.
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.