Saturday, August 13, 2011

Woodman's Settles Disability Discrimination Suit for $35,000

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced in a press release that it has settled a disability discrimination claim it filed on behalf of a former employee, Kimberly McMillan-Goodwin, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) against the Wisconsin grocier for $35,000 plus other injunctive relief. From the press release on the suit and settlement:

The EEOC charged that a Woodman’s store in Beloit, Wis., terminated Kimberly McMillan-Goodwin, a long-term Woodman’s employee who worked as a clerk at its gas station, because she had a back condition that kept her from lifting more than ten pounds. The EEOC contended that McMillan-Goodwin had successfully worked in that position with the lifting restriction for many years. Woodman’s, however, placed McMillan-Goodwin on medical leave and then terminated her. ...

In resolution of the suit, Woodman’s will pay $35,000 to McMillan-Goodwin. The decree also includes substantial other relief, including injunctions against any further discrimination and retaliation. Further, the company will adopt a policy prohibiting discrimination based on disability; update its employee handbooks; conduct training on the ADA; and post a notice to employees about the resolution of the suit in all of its locations. The EEOC will monitor Woodman’s compliance with the decree for two years.

“This case might never have arisen if Woodman’s had had clear policies and training to guide its management and human resources employees on the requirements of the ADA,” said EEOC Regional Attorney John Hendrickson of the agency’s Chicago District, which has jurisdiction over Wisconsin. “Among the most important provisions in the consent decree, therefore, are the requirements that Woodman’s adopt a policy to clarify its obligations and provide training to its management and human resources staff.”

The suit was EEOC v. Woodman’s Food Markets. Inc. (Civ. No. 10-cv-562-wmc), and was filed September 28, 2010, in U.S. District Court in Madison.

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