A recent settlement by Interstate Distributor Co has employers around the country scrambling to review their disability leave policies. Interstate was sued by 9 former employees and the EEOC who claimed that their disability leave policies directly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Under the ADA, a company is required to offer disabled and medically ill employees reasonable accommodations to allow them to return to work. Interstate’s policy was that anyone who exhausted the 12 weeks afforded to them under the Family Medical Leave Act and could not return to work without medical restrictions would be automatically terminated. The EEOC agreed that this was egregious violation of the ADA and filed suit.
Interstate agreed to a settlement worth nearly $5 million and now has to provide the EEOC with a list of all employees that have been released due to medical concerns since 2007. They are also required to change their disability leave policies and inform all employees of this change. A trained professional is also to be instated to review and ensure that Interstate complies with all ADA policies.
Interstate’s Settlement is Warning to all Employers
Seattle employers need to be aware that depletion of the FMLA leave does not automatically mean an employee has to return to work without medical restrictions. Under the ADA, they are required to offer an employee reasonable accommodations and to allow that employee to return to work. As a disabled or medically ill Seattle employee, you have a right to keep your job. If you are able to return to work but cannot do so without medical restrictions, your employer should work to accommodate those requests. Employers who fail to do so can—and should be held accountable.
Seattle Employee Rights Lawyers
If you or someone you love has lost their job after a medical injury or disability, then you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer. The Seattle employee rights attorneys at Phillips Law Firm are available 24/7 to meet with you and review your case. Call us today at 1-800-708-6000. We represent employees in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Tacoma, or anywhere in the State of Washington who believe that their rights have been violated. Call us today.