January 3, 2022
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Fabrication, Coating, and Assembly Company Terminated Employee Because of His Depression, Federal Agency Charges
ATLANTA – Headquartered in Milner, Georgia, Ranew’s Management Company, Inc., [a] local, state, and national provider of fabrication, coating, and assembly products, terminated an employee because of his disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it recently filed.
According to the EEOC’s suit, a Ranew’s Company employee informed his employer of his diagnosis of severe depression and requested to take three weeks off work, per his doctor’s recommendation. Ranew’s Company CEO told the employee to take as much time as he needed to get well. However, six weeks later, when the employee tried to return to work, presenting a release to return to work from his doctor, the CEO said he couldn’t trust the employee to perform his job duties and terminated his employment effective immediately.
Such conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 5:21-cv-00443-MTT) in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Macon Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement via its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the employee, as well as injunctive relief to prevent future discrimination.
“It is inexcusable and unlawful for an employer to base decisions about employees with disabilities on stereotypes and fears,” said Marcus G. Keegan, regional attorney for the EEOC Atlanta District Office. “The EEOC is seeking non-monetary relief, including training high-level executives and policy adjustments, to prevent this from happening in the future.”
Darrell Graham, district director of the Atlanta office, said, “The EEOC will remain steadfast in its commitment to enforce the ADA and take legal action against those who engage in unlawful discrimination.”
More information about disability discrimination can be found at eeoc.gov/disability-discrimination.
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