Press Release 04-23-2020

American Security Insurance Company Will Pay $49,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Insurance Company Unlawfully Fired Longtime Employee Based on Her Diabetes, Federal Agency Charged

ATLANTA – American Security Insurance Company, an insurance company and subsidiary of Assurant, Inc., will pay $49,000 and furnish other relief to settle a federal disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Oppor­tunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. 

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Donna Stephens worked for the company as a senior processing clerk for almost 23 years. As a result of complications with Type 2 diabetes, Stephens requested permission to work from home as an accommodation.  Despite granting Stephens’s accommodation request, however, Stephens’s supervisor constantly chastised her for teleworking, criticized her performance without basis, and ultimately fired her.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from making employment decisions based on an employee’s disability. The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 1:19-CV-3411-AT-JKL) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to providing monetary damages to Stephens, the 18-month consent decree settling the lawsuit requires American Security Insurance to distribute its anti-discrimination policy to all employees, provide equal employment opportunity training to key management and supervisory officials, and report to the EEOC on its compliance with the consent decree, including how it will handle future discrimination complaints in its Duluth, Georgia facility. 

“The agency is pleased that American Security Insurance agreed to resolve this case quickly and to take steps to ensure employees with disabilities will not face termination for exercising their rights to a reasonable accommodation,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Antonette Sewell.

Darrell E. Graham, director for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office, added, “It’s not only good business sense for employers to make simple and inexpensive modifications to the workplace for a disabled employee – such as permitting telecommuting – but federal law may require that they do so.” 

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.