EEOC Wins Disability Discrimination Suit Against Payday Lender 'The Money Store'
Federal Court Awards $56,500 to worker Terminated for manic depression
SEATTLE вЂ“ Today the U.S. Equal Employment chance Commission (EEOC) announced a success in just one of its very first impairment discrimination lawsuits taken up to trial concerning bipolar disorder. Carrying out a four-day workbench test, a federal region court joined judgment for $56,500 against Irving, Tex.-based Cottonwood Financial. The court unearthed that the business violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and also the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) when it fired a worker from the Walla Walla, Wash., store.
After hearing the proof delivered at trial in EEOC v. Cottonwood Financial, Ltd. (No. CV-09-5073-EFS, E. D. Wash.), U.S. District Judge Edward F. Shea noted «Cottonwood’s lacking ADA policies and techniques» and discovered that the business’s half-dozen various rationales for terminating store manager Sean Reilly had been a pretext for discrimination and that the organization had in fact fired Reilly as too disabled to work due to his bipolar disorder because it regarded him.
The court additionally commended Reilly’s efforts to deal with their disability, attain scholastic success and obtain a work. Reilly had been an honor pupil in twelfth grade whom went to university in Portland, Ore. for a scholastic scholarship. Whilst in payday loans in Newfoundland and Labrador university, he had been identified as having manic depression. When their signs forced him to go out of college, he returned house to Walla Walla and discovered employment at Cottonwood, which does company given that money Store.
Employed as an associate supervisor in June 2006, Reilly ended up being swiftly promoted to keep supervisor in October and received a honor when it comes to popularity of their shop in November 2006. Nevertheless, in belated January 2007, Reilly, via a wellness care representative, requested a brief leave to conform to new medicine recommended by their physician to take care of their condition. Reilly alleged that the organization denied this demand, forcing him to come back to get results too quickly. The bucks Store fired Reilly in February 2007 вЂ“ just times after their dependence on ill leave first arose.
The ADA and WLAD outlaw firing a member of staff because of impairment and prohibit undesirable work choices inspired, even yet in component, by sick might toward a worker’s genuine or sensed impairment or ask for an accommodation. The agency filed suit and was joined by Reilly, through his private counsel, Keller W. Allen of Spokane after first trying to reach a voluntary settlement with Cottonwood through the EEOC’s conciliation process.
Judge Shea unearthed that the money Store broke the law by firing Reilly and awarded him $6,500 in right back wages and $50,000 for psychological discomfort and suffering. The court also issued a three-year injunction, requiring the money shop to coach its supervisors and hr workers on anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation rules.
Following the order that is final established, Reilly stated, «It felt just as if a long period of psychological harm had abruptly been healed. After my diagnosis, i truly challenged myself to conquer the odds and excel at the job. To possess my disability outweigh my performance in my own boss’s eyes was crushing.»
Reilly proceeded, «This instance had been never ever about cash or any type of payback — it absolutely was always about doing the right thing to assist protect the legal rights of men and women with disabilities. I really hope this verdict allows other folks with manic depression to own the same possibility at getting and keeping effective and satisfying professions and also to avoid discrimination that is future. It generates me personally happy and proud to understand that justice prevailed in this situation.»
William Tamayo, the EEOC’s local lawyer in san francisco bay area, said, «The court delivered an essential message today that companies can not replace fiction for facts when creating employment choices about disabled employees. Companies functioning on outdated fables and worries about disabilities have to know that the EEOC will not shy far from using ADA situations to test to carry them in to the twenty-first century.»
Tamayo respected EEOC Supervisory test Attorney John Stanley for overseeing the litigation, Senior Trial Attorneys Damien Lee and Jamal Whitehead for representing the EEOC at test, and Investigator Annalie Greer for investigating the scenario allegations.
Reilly’s personal counsel Keller Allen added, «The court saw through the numerous and changing excuses provided by Cottonwood for firing Sean Reilly. This really is a well-deserved triumph for the hard-working person that declined to permit their impairment to be used to create a limitation on their achievements.»