Employers owe it to the people making their business work to be in comfortable workplaces that serve their personal needs. This can go beyond ergonomic chairs and a working water cooler for many California offices, especially when they include workers with physical disabilities or other recognized conditions.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), protect workers’ rights to the correct facilities for their engagement with labor. In the event that a workplace is not meeting these needs, a lawsuit in civil court is always an option.
A large hospitality company’s San Diego site is being sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding the situation of one of their former employees who is asthmatic. The suit alleges that the employee was forced to work in a small room with no ventilation or outdoor exposure.
Work conditions triggered asthmatic attacks for the worker, who suffered respiratory distress and had to be hospitalized overnight as a result. The company fired the employee rather than go through the legally required process of ensuring the reasonable accommodation.
After the worker attempted to settle the case before litigation, the suit now seeks financial damages and injunctive relief, which is designed to force employers to correct the conditions leading to discrimination.
Victims of workplace discrimination due to disability and other protected identities have the right to seek a settlement or jury verdict to make the situation right. An attorney may help prepare a case, as well as work with parties at fault to secure a settlement.
Source: Insurance Journal, “EEOC Sues California Hospitality Company for Asthma Disability Discrimination,” April 03, 2018