September 23, 2019

When Rainmakers Make You Cry

The U.S. EEOC recently announced the settlement of two lawsuits for $925,000. According to one EEOC lawsuit, the employer failed to provide accommodations to employees with disabilities and failed to engage in the interactive process required by law, often claiming that doing so would jeopardize its relationships with the company’s business partners. In a second lawsuit, the EEOC charged the employer with failing to investigate allegations of third-party harassment and not taking corrective actions to cease the harassing behavior. The EEOC further contends that the employer retaliated against employees who requested accommodations, were associated with someone with a disability or who complained about harassment.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Pursuant to the consent decree, the employer¬† will provide $925,000 in monetary relief to the victims. In conjunction with the monetary relief, it will develop a centralized tracking system for employee requests for disability accommodations; create a procedure for the handling and investigation of employees’ harassment complaints; and provide effective ADA and Title VII training for human resources, management and other personnel. The court will maintain jurisdiction of the case for the decree’s four-year term.

Customer or partner preference is not a justification for non-compliance with the ADA or Title VII,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District, which includes Las Vegas in its jurisdiction. “We commend EBG for resolving this complaint and for putting in place measures to prevent discrimination within its workforce.”

Patricia Kane, acting local director of the EEOC’s Las Vegas local office, added, “Employers should take every opportunity to review their practices to ensure they are complying with federal law. The EEOC is committed to creating workplaces free of discrimination and harassment. Under this decree, EBG has taken steps to change their practices and create a more inclusive work environment for all employees.”