Target To Settle Disability Discrimination Suit
Target Corporation will pay $160,000 to settle a federal lawsuit claiming that the retail giant failed to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee with developmental disabilities.
Target hired Jeremy Schott to work part-time in an Orange County, Calif. store in 2002. Due to cerebral palsy and intellectual disability, Schott needed assistance from a job coach at times.
But in a 2009 lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged that Target failed to ensure that Schott had a job coach with him during work meetings.
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Moreover, the EEOC suit claimed that after Schott took an unpaid medical leave due to seizures, his hours were greatly reduced in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Under the settlement reached this week, Target will appoint an ADA coordinator in its human resources department and establish policies and train employees regarding reasonable accommodations in addition to the $160,000 payment.
“Unfortunately, most employers are still unfamiliar with how easy it is to work with individuals with disabilities,” said Marla Stern, director of the EEOC office in San Diego, which oversees Orange County, Calif. “The first step is honest and respectful communication between managers and employees on how to best assist workers with disabilities in reaching their full potential, and the cost of reasonable accommodation is often minimal.”