In its lawsuit, the EEOC contends that a supervisor constantly disparaged a tour coordinator who suffers from malignant rheumatoid arthritis during the tour coordinator’s employment with the company in 2005 and 2006.
The supervisor frequently harassed the tour coordinator, who had difficulty walking as a result of her condition, with offensive remarks such as “If you cannot walk straight, you cannot work at the hotel,” “Because of the way you walk, you create a bad atmosphere,” “No one wants you here,” and “You are selfish for making other people have to watch you limp.” The same supervisor allegedly gave her a less favorable work performance evaluation than those received in the past.
Both the tour coordinator and a co-worker protested the harassment and discrimination by complaining to the company’s vice president, yet the company took no action to remedy the situation, according to the EEOC. The EEOC claims that both individuals were further harassed and forced to quit in retaliation for having complained of the misconduct.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii (EEOC v. Kintetsu International Express (USA), Inc., Case No. CV 10-00560-DAE-BMK) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement. The EEOC’s suit seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of the victims, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent further discrimination at the company. (WCxKit)
“Employees with disabilities have the right to work without the fear of reprisal or harassment,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office, which has jurisdiction over Hawaii. “The EEOC is committed to furthering the rights of employees with disabilities, who make important contributions to the workplace.”
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing.
Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
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