Failing to Engage in the Interactive Process with a Disabled Employee is Illegal

ADA Persons with disabilities have equal rights in the balance with healthy people. Concept of social equality of disabled people in society
Elga Lejarza-Penn

Athletic Apparel Manufacturer Fired Temporary Employee Because of Her Disabilities, Federal Agency Charges

BYHALIA, Miss. – ASICS America Corporation (ASICS), a manufacturer of athletic footwear and accessories, violated federal law by firing a temporary worker because of her disabilities, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.         

According to the EEOC’s suit, on or about the first week in March of 2015, a temporary staffing agency assigned Shelby Orsburn, who has hearing and speech impairments, to work at ASICS’s warehouse distribution center in Byhalia, Mississippi. The lawsuit further alleges that after Orsburn completed an orientation meeting and a video, members of ASICS’s human resources department told Orsburn that the company could not employ her because of her impairments. They said it was unsafe for her to work in the facility due to her disabilities and sent her home.  The EEOC charges that ASICS failed to engage in the interactive process with Orsburn to determine whether she could fulfill the essential functions of the position.

If you would like to learn more about the laws surrounding reasonable accomodations under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) as well as laws that that do or could impact you as an HR Professional while earning continuing education credits towards your SHRM or HRCI certification please join me at one of my upcoming Certificate Program Trainings on topics such as FMLA, ADA, Pregnancy Descrimination, Employment Laws, Interviewing Skills, OSHA and Sexual Harassment Law and Investigation Techniques.

If you would like to learn more about our SHRM-CP®, SHRM-SCP®, aPHR™, PHR®, SPHR® Exam Prep Courses and Boot Camps please check out our upcoming Exam Prep Trainings and check out our Student Testimonials and Success Stories.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Oxford Division, Civil Action No. 3:19-cv-00227, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The suit seeks monetary relief in the form of compensatory and punitive damages, backpay, as well as an injunction against future discrimination.                       

“Failing to engage in the interactive process with a disabled employee is illegal,” said Delner Franklin-Thomas, district director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee, and portions of Mississippi. “The EEOC will continue to hold employers accountable for failing to protect employees from unlawful discrimination.”

Read this article on the  https://www1.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/10-18-19a.cfm

If you would like to learn more about the laws surrounding reasonable accomodations under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) as well as laws that that do or could impact you as an HR Professional while earning continuing education credits towards your SHRM or HRCI certification please join me at one of my upcoming Certificate Program Trainings on topics such as FMLA, ADA, Pregnancy Descrimination, Employment Laws, Interviewing Skills, OSHA and Sexual Harassment Law and Investigation Techniques.

If you would like to learn more about our SHRM-CP®, SHRM-SCP®, aPHR™, PHR®, SPHR® Exam Prep Courses and Boot Camps please check out our upcoming Exam Prep Trainings and check out our Student Testimonials and Success Stories.

Elga Lejarza-Penn, aPHR, PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP

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