The popular casino chain, Dotty’s, was forced to settle a $3.5 million claim alleging disability discrimination earlier this month. The EEOC claimed the Dotty’s was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Lawyers for the EEOC alleged that Dotty’s fired or forced employees to quit because they were considered disabled, had a record of disability, or were associated with someone else who had a disability.
This constitutes a bizarre and heavy-handed bias against individuals with a disability.
After agreeing to pay plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Dotty’s also agreed to implement an ADA-led training seminar concerning the proper conduct toward those who are disabled. As part of the settlement agreement, Dotty’s must submit regular reports verifying that they are compliant with ADA and employment standards.
Lawyers for Dotty’s assured the public that Dotty’s does not condone discrimination of any kind, and agreed to settle instead of going through costly litigation.
Hiring Bias in Dotty’s Casino Chain
The EEOC claimed that Dotty’s had an illegal company-wide hiring stance that required its employees to be 100% healed before returning to work. In other words, employees who may have been in a car accident would have to be 100% recovered and if they were not, they could be fired. The EEOC identified that policy as discriminatory.
Those with disabilities are among the protected classes of citizens who cannot be denied employment on the basis of certain characteristics. Along with disabilities, employers may not deny employment to someone on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, or nation of origin.
In the case of those with disabilities, employers must make reasonable accommodations and consider them on the merits of their training or experience. In this case, a blanket policy that weeds out employees on the basis of any disability is not even remotely close to legal.
Employees for Dotty’s who had lost positions based on this policy were entitled to back pay and other damages. The $3.5 million settlement likely included punitive damages.
What to do if Your Employer Discriminates Against You on the Basis of Disability
If you have been discriminated against on the basis of a disability, then you have a right to collect damages from your employer. Unless your disability precludes you from doing your job effectively, then an employer is expected to make reasonable accommodations for your employment.
Disability discrimination remains a country-wide problem. While it flies under the radar more often than sex and race discrimination, companies like Dotty’s implement illegal policies without even realizing that what they are doing is illegal.
If you believe your employer or a potential employer has discriminated against you on the basis of your disability, you can contact a lawyer for a consultation. You may be entitled to damages if it can be proven that the employer denied your application on the basis of disability discrimination.
The Las Vegas law offices of HKM Employment Law have handled discrimination claims and gotten excellent settlements and jury awards for our clients. If you believe that you have a case against your employer, please contact us.