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Denver Employment Law Blog

Failure to provide reasonable accommodations claim in lawsuit

As our Colorado readers may have seen in our previous post here, an employer's requirement under the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee or potential employee who suffers from a disability is one of the most important aspects of the protections afforded under the ADA. The failure to provide reasonable accommodations could result in an employment discrimination lawsuit. For a former employee at Ford Motor Co., this is exactly what happened.

According to a recent report, the former employee, who was employed at the management level of the American car giant, suffers from irritable bowel syndrome. Back in 2009, while she was still employed, this woman reportedly put in a request to be allowed to telecommute four days per week - performing most of her duties via communication through telephones and computers. The woman claimed that this would be a reasonable accommodation for her purported disability. Ford Motor Co. refused the request, and the woman was later fired for "poor performance."

How do the protections of the ADA affect you?

Our Colorado readers probably encounter the effects of the Americans with Disabilities Act in a myriad of ways in their daily lives and don't even know it. For some, it may be by using a wheelchair ramp at a public building - a modification that was designed and built in order for the building to come into compliance with the terms of the ADA. While these architectural changes to certain buildings are indeed a major and important part of the purpose of the ADA, they are just part of a larger goal behind passage of the law: to end the discrimination that anyone with a disability could encounter in their daily lives.

Employment discrimination, however, is something that a person with a disability could encounter that may have a much more drastic effect on their life than simply being unable to access a certain building. That is why the other side of the ADA, beyond the public access requirements, includes protections for disabled people from being discriminated against by their employers or potential employers due to their disability.

Unwanted sexual advances led to lawsuit against police department

Our Colorado readers have probably seen previous posts here that noted how it seems to be more common for women in traditionally male-dominated professions to become the victims of harassment. Sexual harassment, in particular, is a concern in some of these professions, and law enforcement jobs may be one of the toughest of all for women.

According to a recent report, this appears to have been the case for one female police officer, and as a result she has filed a lawsuit against her employer. The female officer has alleged that a male officer - who was in a superior rank - on at least two occasions over the course of four years subjected the female officer to unwanted sexual advances while they were both actively on patrol and on the job. The female officer has alleged that these incidents took place after the male officer had requested that she meet him in a "secluded area."

Retaliation after FMLA leave part of employee's claims in lawsuit

Many American employees, including thousands in Colorado, fall under the protections of the Family Medical Leave Act. For those who do, knowing that there are legal protections available in the unfortunate event that they need to take a leave of absence from their job is comforting. However, the reality is that many employees are subjected to discrimination when they return from a leave taken under the protections of the FMLA, in the form of retaliation from their employer.

These are some of the circumstances that one employee alleged in a case that recently settled for a reported $125,000 payout. According to the reports, the 59-year-old employee of a university claimed that a persistent state of harassment in her workplace led to significant health problems, including anxiety and depression. The problems were so bad in fact, that the employee also alleged that these were the main reasons for a suicide attempt. Then, to make matters worse, after the employee took FMLA leave to address her mental and physical health problems, she was subjected to further harassment and retaliation upon her return to work.

Alleged violations of ADA leads to lawsuit

Discrimination in the workplace remains an unfortunate reality throughout the country, despite efforts by millions of employers to increase awareness of sensitive issues among their employees. While our Colorado readers are probably used to seeing news coverage about racial and sexual discrimination, some may not realize that disability discrimination remains a problematic issue as well.

A recent report highlighted one particular scenario in which an employee has alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act by his employer. The employee, who suffers from an undisclosed disability, has alleged in a recently filed lawsuit that he was subjected to employment discrimination throughout his short period of time as an employee with Ampco Products Co. - a large corporation with offices in four states. This man was only an employee with the company for approximately three months back in 2012, but he has also claimed that the harassment he experienced didn't stop after his separation from employment.

Employee fired after reporting unwanted sexual advances

Any Colorado employee who has had to endure unwanted sexual advances or offensive sexual comments in the workplace knows how difficult it can be to go to a hostile working environment like that on a day-to-day basis. Having to put up with this type of behavior, whether it is from co-workers or supervisors, can make an employee dread going to work every day. However, sometimes the more fearful aspect of this kind of sexual harassment can be the threat of what could happen if the victim of harassment files an official complaint.

For example, a recent report detailed how a female employee of a trucking company was subjected to lewd comments from a male supervisor. According to the report, when the female employee complained about the behavior, she was fired. Now, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has gotten involved, and a lawsuit is seeking damages on the woman's behalf.

Wrongful dismissal is at the heart of Colorado employee's case

Many of our Colorado readers are familiar with the concept of at-will employment. For those who aren't, the gist of the concept is that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason - and the employee can do the same. However, there are many employees throughout Colorado and the nation who work under the terms of an employment contract. In order for those individuals to be fired, oftentimes their contract will specify that the termination needs to be for a valid reason.

According to a recent report, one Colorado employee is challenging the termination of his employment arrangement with a school district in Larimer County. It appears that the school district has asserted that the employee was fired due to a conflict of interest, in which the employee is alleged to have pushed sales for a private company he is involved in while on the job with the school district. The employee has said that this reason is completely invalid, and that he was in fact terminated in violation of his contract because the school district didn't have a valid reason to terminate him.

New mother claims violation of FMLA in termination of employment

For many women in Colorado, becoming a new mother is usually one of the happiest times in life. The anticipation during the pregnancy - and all of the struggles - pays off when a woman gets to hold their new baby at the hospital. However, this joyous time can be interrupted for a working mother when her employee rights are violated.

This appears to have been the case for one woman who was employed as an adult probation officer when she got pregnant. According to a recent report, the woman, who has filed a civil lawsuit against her former employer alleging a violation of the Family Medical Leave Act, has stated that she first noticed a change with her employer when she gave notification that she intended to take maternity leave. Apparently, shortly after she gave this notification her supervisor had a conference with her, at which time he discussed - for the first time ever - problems with the employee's performance.

Starbucks faces sexual harassment claim

The largest corporations in America have many levels in the management of their organizations. Of course, there are always the top decision makers at the corporate headquarters, but for businesses in the service sector especially, there will almost always be a store-level manager at each location. Starbucks, one of the largest and most recognizable food service corporations in the country, is one of these types of businesses.

Starbucks has gained great popularity over the last several years, and Colorado is home to dozens of these business locations. However, an employee at one Starbucks location in another state has come forward with some disturbing allegations of sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment claim results in $99,999 settlement

Every job here in Colorado is different, but many employers use training sessions to educate their employees about diversity and discrimination in the workplace. Doing so can help bring attention to potential problems before they get out of hand. However, sometimes employees can still create a hostile working environment for others even when they know better. Unfortunately for a female police officer in another Western state, this appears to have been a major issue in the workplace.

According to a recent report, the female officer - a member of the state capitol police in Nevada - has accepted a settlement of her sexual harassment and age discrimination claim. The report indicates that the female officer will receive a payment of $99,999.00. It appears that issues this female officer encountered originated from the behavior and comments of five other officers - all male - including a sergeant. The comments ranged from remarks about the female officer's age - she's 40-years-old - to sexually suggestive remarks.

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