Macy's to Pay $75k After Firing Asthmatic Employee for One-day Absence

April 23, 2018

Macy's will pay a former long-term employee $75,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC alleged that Macy's had fired an asthmatic employee rather than excuse a one-day absence the employee needed to address emergency complications arising from her disability.

The employee worked for Macy's for nearly eight years, but she was fired after a one-day absence because she needed immediate medical attention for her asthma. Macy's policy permits absences for disability-related reasons but here, Macy's purportedly denied the employee's request to excuse the absence, even though she had to be seen in a hospital emergency room, and fired her three weeks later.

Macy's will pay $75,000 to the employee as part of a consent decree settling the suit and will provide additional relief. Under the decree, the retailer will train certain employees on disability law and accommodation requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and also will monitor requests for accommodation and complaints of disability discrimination at its two Chicago stores and report those to the EEOC.