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Celestica Corporation Settles EEOC Disability Accommodation Lawsuit

Employee With Lupus, Breathing Problems and Enlarged Heart Denied Any Accommodation, Federal Agency Charged

NASHVILLE  – Celestica Inc., a Canadian electronics manufacturer service company doing  business in the United States as Celestica Corporation, will pay $102,100 and  provide other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the  U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced  today.

The EEOC’s suit (No. 3:09-0813, filed  in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee) had charged  that Celestica willfully ignored requests for reasonable accommodations under  the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).  An employee, hired through a placement agency, worked inside a  400,000-square-foot warehouse in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., operated  by Celestica. She has lupus, chronic  obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiomyopathy. She requested use of her own electric  wheelchair to get to her desk inside the warehouse from a handicapped parking  space close to the side entrance.  Although the placement agency allowed use of the wheelchair, Celestica  ignored her requests and acted as if they had never occurred, the EEOC said. She continued working for a few months without  any accommodation, but ultimately quit.

Denial  of a reasonable accommodation to an otherwise qualified individual with a  disability violates Title I of the ADA,  unless providing the accommodation would pose an undue hardship. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to  reach a voluntary settlement.

Besides  providing monetary relief, the two-year consent decree settling the suit,  signed by Judge Todd Campbell on April 7,  2010, enjoins Celestica from further  refusing or ignoring any request from an individual with a disability for a  reasonable accommodation; requires the company to issue its policy regarding  reasonable accommodations under the ADA to all employees in the United States; train  its site managers and human resources managers on reasonable accommoda­tions;  report requests for reasonable accommodations to the EEOC; have the trainer  administer a test after the training and review the test results with the trainees;  and post notices on the settlement and the ADA.

“Employers  cannot simply ignore requests for reasonable accommodations of a qualified  individual with a disability,” said Faye A. Williams, the EEOC regional  attorney for the Memphis District Office.  “Rather, they must take an active role in determining whether the  accommodation can be provided or whether it would impose an undue  hardship. We are pleased that Celestica joined  us in a quick resolution to save all parties time and expense.”

Celestica, Inc., located in Toronto, Canada,  is a global provider of services for electronics manufacturers. It has over 38,000 employees worldwide.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing the nation's  laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at