Press Release 07-06-2020

ASICS America Corporation to Pay $49,650 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Athletic Apparel Manufacturer Refused Employment to a Temporary Employee Because of Her Disabilities, Federal Agency Charged

BYHALIA, Miss. – ASICS America Corporation will pay $49,650 to a former employee to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, a temporary staffing agency assigned a worker with hearing and speech disabilities to work at ASICS’s warehouse distribution center in Byhalia, Miss. After the worker completed an orientation meeting, members of ASICS’s human resources department told her the com­pany could not employ her due to her disabilities and failed to engage in the interactive process with the worker to determine whether she could perform the essential functions of the position.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Oxford Division, Civil Action No. 3:19-cv-00227, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.

ASICS will pay the former employee $10,000 in back pay and $39,650 in compensatory damages. ASICS also agreed to implement non-monetary remedies at its Byhalia, Miss. location, to: review and revise its written policy on disability discrimination to explain the process to request a reasonable accommodation; disseminate the policy to all employees and have them sign and acknowledge receipt within 90 days of entry of the decree; and train all managers and human resources employees on disability discrimination and reasonable accommodations.        

“The ADA ensures that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to achieve success in the workplace,” said Faye A. Williams, regional attorney of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. “The EEOC commends ASICS and its attorneys for working with the agency to resolve this lawsuit to the satisfaction of all.”

Delner Franklin-Thomas, district director of the Memphis District Office, said, “Employers should ascertain whether their employment handbooks are updated so supervisors, managers, and employees know what the ADA requires.”

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.