Most of our Colorado readers probably know a lot about what pregnant women go through. It isn't easy to be pregnant, but the reward of holding a newborn baby is worth all of the discomfort and inconveniences. Unfortunately, some women suffer from postpartum depression after the pregnancy ends. This is a medical condition that many people have learned more about in recent years. So, it should come as no surprise that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would consider this condition as one of thousands that are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
When an employer is accused of discrimination based on an employee's disability, there can be consequences. That was the result in a recent case, in which a power-grid operator agreed to a $90,500 settlement. According to the reports, a former employee of the company notified her employer that she was dealing with postpartum depression and requested time off to address the condition. The employer denied the request, despite the fact that under the company's policies such a leave is allowed. It appears that the woman decided to pursue help for her condition anyways, and the company reported that she was fired for lack of attendance.
The employee decided to take action to hold her former employer accountable by contacting the EEOC with a claim. The EEOC subsequently filed a discrimination lawsuit against the employer under the proposition that the employee's firing was a violation of the ADA.
Now, in addition to the substantial financial payout included in the settlement, many of the company's approximately 850 employees across 11 states and parts of Canada will be receiving training on the provisions of the ADA. The company must also make yearly reports to the EEOC.
Source: IBJ.com, "Carmel firm settles discrimination lawsuit for $90K," Mason King, July 11, 2013