According to a recent lawsuit, two employees at a Colorado supermarket chain, King Soopers, repeatedly bullied and taunted a fellow employee for his learning disability. The offending employees' actions were found to be in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires that employees with disabilities are treated with the same dignity and respect due to every worker across the country.
In accordance with the court's finding, the owners of the supermarket chain will now pay the mentally challenged employee $80,000 in due compensation. The disability discrimination complaint was filed by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC claimed that the harassment of the employee eventually led to his being fired.
Before filing the suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, the EEOC first sought a pre-litigation settlement through a process of conciliation.
King Soopers will now have to train all of its managers and supervisors with regard to the ADA. Specifically, the supermarket chain is required to instruct its employees in how to appropriately interact with employees with disabilities and special needs. For the next three years, the King Soopers will also have to report periodically to the EEOC, informing the commission about all complaints regarding disability discrimination.
An attorney for the EEOC reaffirmed the basic premise of the Americans with Disabilities Act: "Employees with disabilities must be treated with the same dignity and respect as all other members of the work force." She went on to say that the EEOC aims to continue protecting the rights of disabled employees in Colorado and elsewhere.
If Denver residents believe a coworker or employer has acted in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, then a solid first step is to explore all the available legal options. Disability discrimination is serious business, and companies that are shown to have violated this extremely important law are legally obliged to pay victims their due compensation.
Source: thejobmouse.com, "Supermarket Chain To Pay $80,000 For Supervisor Who Bullied Learning-Disabled Employee," Anneline Waldman, Dec. 14, 2011