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Media company settles discrimination lawsuit

Some of our readers may be familiar with the media company Gannett Co. This large company contributes to media and publications throughout the country, including in Colorado. Although there may be a misperception among many people that the bigger a company is the better its organizations and policies are, that is not always the case. For Gannett Co., this meant settling an employment discrimination case recently.

According to a recent report, this company was required to pay a $49,900 settlement to a former employee. The employee had alleged that Gannett Co. fired her due to some issues regarding her mental disability, which would be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The woman had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and she stated she had to take some time off in the form of a medical absence due to the condition. She was fired after she returned from the leave of absence, and the former employee contends that the firing was due to her disability.

When an employer is alleged to have engaged in this type of activity, it is up to the employee to hold that employer accountable. In Colorado, that means that the employee must contact either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Colorado Civil Rights Division within 300 days of the alleged discrimination.

Gannett Co. had to learn this lesson the hard way. In addition to the monetary payout, the company will now also have to train supervisors in the company on discrimination based on a person's disability.

Anyone who believes they may have been the victim of discrimination based on a disability should be sure to get the right information as soon as possible on how to proceed.

Source: Washington Business Journal, "Gannett settles EEOC suit over bipolar employee," Jeff Clabaugh, Jan. 24, 2013

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