Employer Held in Contempt for Disregarding Order in ADA Medical Leave of Absence Case

Thumbing your nose at the courts is never a good idea–and has its monetary costs also. A district court judge brought the hammer down on an employer this week for not complying with a settlement of an EEOC lawsuit stemming from its failure to engage in the interactive process for reaching a reasonable accommodation under he Americans With Disabilities Act.

According to the EEOC,  Supervalu/Jewel-Osco was held in contempt of court for multiple violations of  the agreement ordering relief for three former employees who sought to return to work following medical leave of absences.

“[T]he evidence shows that, in making the determination that these employees could not be accommodated, the company disregarded its own interactive process guidelines, failed to even consider the myriad resources available (at no cost or at minimal cost) to assist it in identifying or fashioning reasonable accommodations for these employees, and failed to consider reassignment.”  Judge Ronald Guzman wrote.

The company didn’t consider open positions or minor adjustments that would have allowed the employees to resume working, the judge said.

As punishment for the contempt, the judge ordered the company to pay EEOC’s attorney’s fees in pursuing the contempt action.

That’s on top of the $82,000 in back pay it owes the victims under the settlement agreement.

Read more.

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