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Press Release 09-27-2011

EEOC Sues DuPriest And Sons For Firing Long-Term Employee Because Of Disability

Supervisor Fired After 38 Years on the Job Because of Diabetes and Kidney Disease, Federal Agency Charges

DALLAS  - DuPriest and Sons Holding, a Dallas  silk-screening company, violated federal law by selecting a senior employee for  layoff because of his diabetes and kidney disease, the U.S. Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

The EEOC  charged in its suit, Case No. 3:11-CV-02525-G in U.S. District Court for the  Northern District of Texas, that supervisor Alfred Garza, a very experienced  worker, was chosen for separation soon after he informed the employer that he  would need dialysis According to the  EEOC, after Garza informed the employer about developments in his medical  condition in May 2009, a member of management told him that the company could  "no longer afford" him, despite the fact that his conditions were  subject to control and treatment that would allow him to continue his  work

"Mr. Garza was honest with management when  he returned to work after a brief hospital stay, and he was shocked when just  over two weeks later he was told to collect his things," said Toby Wosk  Costas, supervisory trial attorney for the Dallas District Office "Alfred had viewed his employer like  family after having devoted himself to the job for almost four decades."

Removing a qualified employee from the workplace  because of a disability violates the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) The anti-discrimination law was amended by Congress,  broadening its reach and protections for persons who are disabled, have a  record of disability or are regarded as disabled, effective Jan. 1, 2009 The EEOC investigated the case and then filed  suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its  conciliation process.

The EEOC  seeks injunctive relief, including the formulation of policies to prevent and  correct disability discrimination The  suit also seeks damages for Mr. Garza and punitive damages against DuPriest and  Sons

"This printing company took its  'screening' business entirely too far when it decided to screen out a long-term  and loyal employee simply because of an impaired bodily function," said  Robert A. Canino, regional attorney for the EEOC's Dallas District Office "Thankfully, recent amendments to the ADA give us the law  enforcement authority we need to promote change in these kinds of exclusionary  attitudes."

The  EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination Further information about the EEOC is  available on its website at