Maryland residents may have experienced some form of work place discrimination over the years and not even realized it. It is important that even as times evolve, individuals still speak up and seek justice when any wrongdoing has occurred.
Applied Vacuum Technology is a manufacturing company based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The company has settled a disability discrimination suit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The plaintiff was a former employee of the company. The plaintiff had to be hospitalized for one week and when he returned to work he was fired. The company knew of the plaintiff's particular condition, but fired him for failing to call in to work every day of his hospitalization. The EEOC's position was that the plaintiff was fired for his disability, a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The company has settled the lawsuit filed by the EEOC by agreeing to pay the plaintiff $50,000. In addition, the company must provide employee handbooks that clearly lay out policies and procedures and what the consequences could be for failing to report in to work every day. AVT will also have to provide training to all its employees ensuring compliance with the ADA. AVT will also have to provide training ensuring that all employers do not engage in employer retaliation and have an action plan in place to handle employees when complaints are filed.
The purpose behind the ADA is to protect people with disabilities in the work place. ADA applies from the beginning of the application process all the way through termination. In order to have a disability under the ADA, the individual must be substantially limited in a "major life activity." These major life activities can include the person's ability to see, talk or speak. If the individual's impairment limits one or more of these activities, they will be considered disabled under the ADA and placed under their protected class.
Maryland residents who may suffer from a disability should not be afraid to come forward. The only way to truly put employer discrimination in the rear view mirror is to stand up against any injustice and make sure that the responsibile individuals take responsibility.
Source: EEOC, "AVT to Pay $50,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Case", April 16, 2013