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Rite Aid to pay $250,000 in discrimination lawsuit settlement

Pharmacy company Rite Aid will pay $250,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit filed by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of one of the company's former employee. Filed in 2008 in Maryland, the lawsuit alleges that the worker was fired in retaliation to a 2006 claim he filed with the EEOC, which claimed the company denied him promotions due to his epilepsy.

According to the original 2006 EEOC disability discrimination complaint, the worker's co-workers and supervisor regularly subjected him "to isolation, embarrassment and humiliation" by photographing him while he was suffering from seizures, leaving him out of job-related training and exhibiting other wrongful and discriminatory behavior. The EEOC also contends that Rite Aid refused to provide the man with reasonable accommodations aimed at reducing the possibility for him to injure himself while experiencing a seizure.

Rite Aid has agreed to provide $250,000 to the former pharmacy order picker to settle the case. The EEOC's three-year consent decree includes evaluating and revising its policies regarding the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act and offer training to supervisors to familiarize them with the new policies. Additionally, the decree prohibits the company from violating the American with Disabilities Amendment Act again. Rite Aid will face additional penalties if it fails to meet these requires. A representative for the company has not yet responded to requests for comments on the lawsuit and subsequent settlement.

Maryland companies accused of discriminating against employees based on disability, race, sex, age, religion can face expensive lawsuits for violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Such lawsuits can also result in a number of other harsh penalties, making it necessary for businesses and organizations facing such claims to consult with a qualified attorney specializing in employment litigation.

Source: Business Insurance, "Rite Aid settles EEOC disability, retaliation charges for $250,000," Mike Tsikoudakis, Nov. 9, 2012

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