December 21, 2022
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Facility Management Services Provider Denied Employee’s Reasonable Request to Work from Home, Then Terminated Her Because of Her Disability, Federal Agency Charged
ISS Facility Services, Inc. (ISS), a workplace experience and facility management company, will pay $47,500 and provide other relief to settle a disability discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Ronisha Moncrief worked for ISS as a health and safety manager. From March 2020 through June 2020, ISS required its employees to work remotely four days per week because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In June 2020, when ISS asked workers to return to the site full time, Moncrief requested an accommodation to work remotely two days per week and be allowed frequent breaks while working on-site, due to her pulmonary condition which placed her at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19. Although ISS allowed other employees in Moncrief’s position to work from home, it denied Moncrief’s request and soon after terminated her employment.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended, which requires disabilities be accommodated if the accommodation would cause no undue hardship and prohibits firing an employee because of a disability. The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 1:21-cv-03708-SCJ-RDC) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, after first trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement via its conciliation process.
Under the two-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit, ISS will pay $47,500 in monetary damages to Moncrief; train its employees on the ADA; make changes to its employment policies; and allow the EEOC to monitor how it handles future requests for accommodation.
“The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities to ensure those with disabilities have an equal opportunity to work to their full ability,” said Marcus G. Keegan, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office. “The EEOC is pleased that Moncrief has been compensated and the company agreed to implement training on the ADA and changes to its policies to prevent this type of discrimination from occurring again.”
Darrell Graham, district director of the Atlanta office, said, “The EEOC is committed to seeking relief for employees who are harmed by discrimination on the basis of disability.”
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information about disability discrimination is available at eeoc.gov/eeoc-disability-related-resources. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.