Bearings Manufacturer Fired Employee With Cancer They Considered Disabled, Federal Agency Charged
CLEVELAND - Kyklos Bearing International, LLC (KBI), an Ohio bearings manufacturer, will pay $50,000 and provide significant relief to settle a federal disability discrimination lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Donique Price worked at KBI's Sandusky, Ohio manufacturing facility, where she operated a motorized scooter to move products and materials to and from an assembly line. In 2012, the company's medical staff imposed restrictions on Price because she had been treated for breast cancer. The agency alleged, despite her breast cancer treatment and Price's own doctor clearing her to work without any restrictions, KBI refused to consider outside medical opinions and fired her.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from discriminating against a person because he or she is disabled or perceived to be disabled. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (EEOC v. Kyklos Bearing International, LLC, Case No. 3:13-cv-01662), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.
In addition to providing $50,000 in monetary relief to Price, the three-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit provides substantial equitable relief. The decree prohibits KBI from violating the ADA and requires the company make individualized assessments of a person's ability to perform job functions, in compliance with the ADA. The decree also provides for the EEOC to monitor the company's compliance with decree provisions.
Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence of the EEOC's Philadelphia District Office said, "We are pleased this settlement compensates Ms. Price for the harm she suffered and contains equitable relief designed to prevent future disability discrimination."
The EEOC Philadelphia District Office has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio and prosecutes discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available at its website, www.eeoc.gov.