Company Discharged Visually Impaired Employee, Federal Agency Charged
ATLANTA - A Murfreesboro, Tenn.-based retail support and services company has agreed to pay $20,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC's suit, Store Opening Solutions, Inc. (SOS) violated federal law by firing Janet Mykytyn because of her disability and refusing to provide her with a reasonable accommodation. Mykytyn's condition, macular and myopic degeneration of the eyes, affected her ability to see. Mykytyn received vocational training that allowed her to perform her job as fixture lead with a reasonable accommodation; however, the EEOC charged, SOS refused to accommodate her and unlawfully terminated her employment.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from refusing to reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities and from discharging them because of their disability. The EEOC's lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The matter was later transferred to U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee (EEOC v. Store Opening Solutions, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:10-00237).
"The EEOC is pleased that SOS has agreed to resolve this matter and to take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the law," said Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for the EEOC's Atlanta District Office.
The Atlanta District Office of the EEOC oversees Georgia and parts of South Carolina.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.