Global Paint Supplier Fired Employee Who Had a Seizure, Federal Agency Charged
DETROIT - PPG Industries, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based paint manufacturing company, has agreed to pay $45,250 to settle a federal disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, PPG Industries failed to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee at its Ferndale, Mich., plant, who was placed on a six-month medical restriction prohibiting him from driving and operating heavy machinery as a result of his having suffered a seizure. Instead of accommodating the employee, PPG Industries fired him, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee's disability unless the employer would suffer an undue hardship. The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Court of Michigan (EEOC v. PPG Industries, Inc., Case No. 2:17-cv-12304) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation resolution through its conciliation process.
In addition to monetary relief, the two-year consent decree settling the suit requires PPG Industries to provide training to its employees on its obligations under the ADA. The decree also requires the company to post a notice on its bulletin boards which reaffirms its obligations under the ADA.
"Instead of adopting blanket policies, an employer should conduct an individualized inquiry and evaluate whether it can provide a disabled employee with a reasonable accommodation," explained Nedra Campbell, trial attorney for the EEOC. "PPG Industries, which presumably recognized it could have handled this situation differently, should be commended for resolving this case early on."
According to its website (www.ppg.com), PPG Industries, Inc. (NYSE:PPG) is a global paint supplier. It is a Fortune 500 company that has locations throughout the United States and abroad.
The Detroit Field Office is part of the Indianapolis District Office, which oversees Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and parts of Ohio.
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.