Press Release 08-24-2009

TARGET STORES SUED FOR DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION

EEOC Says Retail Giant Failed to Reasonably Accommodate Employee With Intellectual Disability and Cerebral Palsy

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Equal  Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today filed a discrimination lawsuit  against national retailer Target Stores, Inc. for unlawfully denying a reasonable  accommodation to an employee with multiple disability-based impairments and  substantially reducing his work hours due to the medical conditions. The disabled worker could not effectively  communicate with others without the assistance of a job coach because of his cerebral  palsy and limited intellectual functioning.

The EEOC charged in its lawsuit  that Target subjected this employee at Target’s store in Foothill Ranch in  Southern Orange County to discriminatory practices on the basis of disability  when it failed to notify his job coach and parents of any in-person meetings  involving work issues and job performance, as requested. The disabled employee was compelled to attend  these in-person meetings alone without the assistance of a job coach or parent,  even though repeated requests had been made by both the job coaches and parents  to be in attendance at the meetings. Target  had hired this employee with full knowledge of his disabilities and need for a reasonable  accommodation, according to the EEOC.

Such alleged conduct violates Title I of the  Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)  and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.  The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of  California after first attempting to reach voluntary settlement out of court (EEOC v. Target Stores, Inc., Case No. SACV 09-0963).

“What is particularly disturbing  here is that Target already knew this employee was disabled and needed  assistance with communicating during in-person meetings,” said EEOC Regional  Attorney Anna Y. Park of the agency’s Los Angeles District Office. “Target’s failure to provide a reasonable  accommodation denied him equal benefits and privileges of employment. Despite  his disabilities, the employee in this case was qualified and motivated to  work, but Target denied him an equal opportunity to succeed in the workplace.”

Minneapolis-based Target operatesmore  than 1,700 stores in 49 states nationwide, including more than240 Super Target  stores, according to company information.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment  discrimination. Further information  about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.