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Faurecia Madison Automobile Seating, Inc. to Pay $825,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

May 19, 2020
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Automobile Seat Frame Manufacturer Failed to Hire Applicants They Believed Had a Disability, Federal Agency Charged

Faurecia Madison Automobile Seating, Inc., a manufacturer of automobile seat frames in Madison, Mississippi, has agreed to pay $825,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Faurecia screened its predecessor, Johnson Controls’ former employees and failed to hire 15 of them basing their hiring decisions on the number of sick or FMLA [Family and Medical Leave Act] days they had taken.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from making employment decisions on a person’s perceived or actual disability. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Faurecia Automotive Seating, LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 4:16-CV-199-DMB-JMV) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, after first attempting to reach a voluntary, pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The case was later transferred to the Southern District of Mississippi (EEOC v. Faurecia Automotive Seating, LLC, et al., Civ. Action No. 3:17-cv-757-DPJ-FKB).

In addition to the $825,000 in monetary relief, the two-year consent decree prohibits Faurecia from discriminating against any applicant or employee due to a disability in the future. Faurecia must also post a written notice to applicants and employees of their rights under the ADA, provide annual training to all hiring and human resources personnel at the company’s Madison, Mississippi facility, and develop and properly communicate company policies designed to ensure a discrimination-free workplace.

Bradley Anderson, the EEOC’s district director for the Birmingham District Office, said, “The ADA was passed so people with disabilities get a fair chance to make a living and have equal employment opportunities. Employers must make employment decisions based on actual skills and abilities, not myths, fears or stereotypes about a person’s disability.”

EEOC Birmingham Regional Attorney Marsha Rucker said, “After several years of litigation, the EEOC is pleased to see Faurecia enter into a consent decree that requires it to update its hiring policies to align with the requirements of the ADA. This lawsuit is a reminder the EEOC takes its commitment to serve its stakeholders in Mississippi seriously.”

Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, including hiring practices that discriminate against and screen out people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).

The EEOC’s Birmingham District consists of Alabama, Mississippi (except 17 northern counties) and the Florida Panhandle.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ-ment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

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