Coating, Painting and Sandblasting Company Fired Employee Due to Hearing Loss, Federal Agency Says
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Tamco Professional Coating Services, Inc. (Tamco) has agreed to pay a foreperson $90,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. Tamco, which is based in Houma, Louisiana, performs sandblasting, painting, soda blasting, pressure washing, water blasting, cleaning, coating, and minor fabrication and repair services. The lawsuit was resolved through a consent decree, which U.S. District Judge Greg Guidry approved on July 26, 2019.
The EEOC's suit alleged that Tamco told the foreperson that its insurance costs would increase because of the foreperson's hearing loss and that, soon after, Tamco fired the foreperson. According to the lawsuit, Tamco discharged the employee without following its own progressive discipline process. This alleged conduct is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which makes it unlawful for an employer to fire an employee because of disability.
The EEOC filed its suit (Civil Action No. 19-cv-10775) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana earlier this year. Under the three-year consent decree, Tamco will not only pay the foreperson $90,000 in backpay and damages, but also conduct training.
"It is important for employers to know that they cannot fire an employee in an attempt to avoid increased insurance costs resulting from the employee's physical or mental impairment," said Rudy Sustaita, regional attorney for the EEOC's Houston District Office.
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.