Suit Alleges Target Stores Discriminated Against Employee With Disabilities
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing Target Stores alleging the retailer discriminated against an employee with cerebral palsy and intellectual disability.
Target hired Jeremy Schott in 2002 to work part-time at a store in Orange County, Calif., fully aware of his disabilities. Nonethless, the suit alleges that Target denied Schott reasonable accommodation when it required him to repeatedly attend in-person work meetings and performance reviews without the assistance of his parents or job coach, as had been requested because Schott has difficulty communicating.
Further, the suit alleges that Schott’s hours were cut permanently after he took an unpaid medical leave in 2004 to less than half the hours of less-senior co-workers without disabilities.
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“What is particularly disturbing here is that Target already knew this employee was disabled and needed assistance with communicating during in-person meetings,” said Anna Park, an attorney for the EEOC. “Target’s failure to provide a reasonable accommodation denied him equal benefits and privileges of employment. Despite his disabilities, the employee in this case was qualified and motivated to work, but Target denied him an equal opportunity to succeed in the workplace.”
The lawsuit alleges that Target’s actions are in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act. After unsuccessfully attempting to reach a settlement outside of court, the suit was filed late last week in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Calls to Target requesting comment were not returned.