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Maryland business settles employment discrimination suit

A garden center in Maryland recently settled a lawsuit involving a former employee who accused the company of firing him because of his disability, thus acting in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The garden center will pay the plaintiff a total of $50,000 and take actions to prevent further abuses.

Maryland law states that employment discrimination based on the disability, gender, religion, race or national origin of a worker is illegal. Maryland workers who have suffered disability discrimination in the workplace may be able to recover a significant monetary award by filing a lawsuit with the assistance of a qualified attorney specializing in employment litigation.

The man claims he was wrongfully fired after his employer became aware of his hemophilia during a conversation with his mother. He alleges that he was told not to return to work because of the employer's "perception of his disability." Upon hearing of the incident, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission unsuccessfully attempted to settle the case with the employer before resulting to a lawsuit. The EEOC won the case, winning compensation on behalf of the discriminated worker.

In addition to the monetary award, the employer must also implement new policies aimed at preventing and addressing with discrimination in the future. For instance, it must provide an email address and telephone number for workers to report alleged discrimination, train supervisors on anti-discrimination laws and submit regular reports to the EEOC regarding the progress of its anti-discrimination efforts.

An official with the EEOC explained, "Society's myths and fears about a perceived disability are often more disabling than any physical limitation that may flow from a physical impairment. This settlement achieves the EEOC's objectives by providing relief to the victim while implementing measures to prevent future discrimination and retaliation."

Source: Jobmouse, "Homestead Gardens Settles EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit For Firing Worker With Hemophilia," Anneline Waldman, June 7, 2012

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