Taken to the Cleaners: Company Owes $16K in Settlement Over Firing of Worker With Scoliosis

How dumb is this. An employer fires a worker because his disability keeps from doing his job the way the employer wants it done, but there’s another way he could do the job if only the employer would accommodate him.

So dumb that a Michigan company that provides cleaning services decided it was better not to go to court over this one.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed this Americans With Disabilities Act on behalf of Gregory Brown against his former employer,New Image Building Services, Inc., based in Mt. Clemens, Michigan.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, in September of 2013, Brown, who had scoliosis, was hired as a cleaner and assigned to trash maintenance at a Dearborn, Mich., client location. On July 23, 2014, his supervisor informed him that he would be assigned to vacuum duty, which would have required him to wear a vacuum back pack. In response, Brown told the supervisor that he could not do vacuum duty because of his scoliosis.

Rather than allow Brown to submit a doctor’s note, the supervisor issued a disciplinary write-up against Brown for refusing to perform an assigned task, and removed him from the worksite by confiscating his badge, the EEOC said. Brown was not allowed to return to the worksite; nor was he reassigned to another location.

New Image agreed to settle the lawsuit for $16,000 in back pay to Brown, the EEOC announced last Friday.

In addition to providing for the award of monetary relief to Brown, prohibits any similar discrimination in the future and requires New Image to distribute its policies on equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination to all its employees. New Image must also train its supervisors and human resources representatives on disability discrimination and reasonable accommodations under the ADA


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