The EEOC has announced that it has reached a 3.2 million dollar settlement with the Jewel-Osco chain of supermarkets and drug stores resulting from employee claims of violating the ADA. The EEOC had brought a suit on behalf of 110 employees, claiming that they were routinely terminated at the end of their approved ADA leave rather than welcomed back to their stores.
The suit claimed that Jewel-Osco would approve the disability leave for their employees. However, upon returning to work from their approved period, they would summarily fire any individual that was not able to work without restrictions. Jewel-Osco made no attempt, in violation of the ADA, to accommodate the disabilities of their workers and instead fired them.
Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, employers must provide time off for individuals that have disabilities to deal with treatment and recovery. Upon returning to work with a disability, be it permanent or temporary, it is the employers responsibility to accommodate the employee and their disability. For a grocery store chain to violate these laws, often against some of their lowest paid employees is an absolute travesty. We are glad the EEOC has taken decisive action and provided some relief to these abused employees