Oregon Grocer Settles EEOC Disability Discrimination Case

JC Market Thriftway, an Oregon-based grocer, has agreed to pay $50,000 in compensatory damages, backpay and other injunctive relief to resolve a disability discrimination case. The lawsuit was brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), after the grocer fired a new employee who disclosed their disability.

Case background

The investigation conducted by the EEOC found that an applicant had received a job offer from JC Market Thriftway with instructions to begin training the next day. However, when the applicant disclosed their disability and the need to carry medical supplies, the grocer allegedly refused to provide a reasonable accommodation. They subsequently fired the worker. Furthermore, the EEOC's inquiry uncovered unlawful record-keeping practices within the company.

As part of the settlement agreement, JC Market Thriftway has agreed to pay monetary damages to the affected individual. Furthermore, the company will revise its disability policies and procedures, conduct anti-discrimination training for both managers and employees and make a donation to a disability rights organization.

Disabilities and fair employment practices

Employers must judge applicants and employees based on their abilities and qualifications relevant to the essential functions of the job, rather than making decisions based on stereotypes or myths related to disabilities.

Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities, allowing them to perform the essential functions of their job. Failure to do so can result in legal consequences. As a rule of thumb, employers should familiarize themselves with EEOC guidance. They stipulate that disability-related questions or medical exams should not be conducted before a conditional job offer is extended.

Employers must remain vigilant to ensure that discrimination has no place in their organizations and that all employees are treated fairly and equitably. If you’ve been the victim of workplace discrimination, help is available. Reach out to a trusted whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group today.