Unrelated Employers Sued for Disability Discrimination

May 28, 2019

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a pair of unrelated lawsuits alleging that employers in Texas and Alaska ran afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by discriminating against employees due to their glaucoma and bladder conditions, respectively. An employee was hired by Brock Services, LLC, as a scaffolding team lead. Due to an eye injury that predated his employment, the employee developed glaucoma in his right eye, which resulted in some loss of vision. When he obtained a release from a medical provider, Brock Services allegedly demanded a second and third examination before obtaining a release that it then used to fire the worker. In an unrelated case, the EEOC contends that Club Demonstration Services, Inc, violated the ADA by refusing to accommodate an employee in Juneau, Alaska, who required additional bathroom breaks due to a bladder condition and effectively terminated her. The employee, who has had a neurogenic bladder condition since 2015, began working in May 2016 as sales advisor at Costco Warehouse 107 in Juneau. In June 2017, her manager told staff that they were no longer allowed to use the bathroom except during the lunch break or scheduled 15-minute break. Purportedly, the employee promptly submitted a doctor's note requesting that she be allowed bathroom breaks as needed. “Maintaining an inflexible break policy at the expense of a worker with a medical need flies in the face of the ADA and its requirement that employers provide a reasonable accommodation,” said the EEOC.