Bank Will Pay $700K, Change Inflexible Leave Policy, To End Suit

December 26, 2018

Wilmington Trust Corporation has agreed to pay $700,000 and furnish other relief to settle a lawsuit filed against the Buffalo, New, York-based wholly owned subsidiary of M&T Bank Corporation alleging that Hudson City Savings Bank (HCSB), which merged into Wilmington Trust in 2015, had an inflexible leave policy that violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). HCSB had a long-standing inflexible policy and practice of placing employees with disabilities on involuntary leave unless or until it received their medical provider's clearance to return to work with no restrictions. As a result of this practice, qualified individuals with disabilities were purportedly denied reasonable accommodations, and/or placed on involuntary leave, and/or discharged because of their disabilities. In one such instance, a teller was prescribed a cam walker boot to treat Achilles tendonitis and bone spurs; instead of allowing her to wear the walker boot, which allegedly would not have affected the essential functions of her job, HCSB purportedly placed her on involuntary leave and then fired her. We recommend all employers review policies and practices, and that SESCO be contacted if questions remain regarding ADA compliance.