Please be advised that contacting Ruder Ware by e-mail does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you contact the firm by e-mail with respect to a matter where the firm does not already represent you, any information which you disclose to us may not be regarded as privileged or confidential.


Accept   Cancel

Please be advised that contacting Ruder Ware by e-mail does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you contact the firm by e-mail with respect to a matter where the firm does not already represent you, any information which you disclose to us may not be regarded as privileged or confidential.


Accept   Cancel

PAL Login

linkedin.jpgyoutube.jpgvimeo.jpgtwitter_off.png View Ruder Ware

Employment Blog

Disability Discrimination Lawsuits can be Expensive

Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Posted on March 21, 2016
Filed under Employment

A recent settlement of a disability discrimination lawsuit against AT&T shows that a discrimination claim can be an expensive proposition.  AT&T settled a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by paying $250,000 to the Commission and re-instating an employee.  The EEOC filed suit against AT&T for failing to provide a reasonable accommodation to a visually-impaired employee who had worked for 14 years for the company. 

The employee suffered from a visual impairment and requested the use of adaptive technology software which would allow the employee to use computers and computer programs to perform his job as a switch technician for the company.  The company never responded to the request for an accommodation and removed the employee from his position and did not allow him to return to work because of his medical condition. 

Because the company failed to respond to the request for an accommodation, the EEOC brought suit.  After commencing the suit, the parties participated in conciliation which resulted in the payment of $250,000 and the re-instatement of the employee with a provision for the adaptive technology equipment that the employee requested.  The company also was required to conduct annual training of its managers and post a notice in the workplace regarding the settlement. 

This case may be more egregious than many because the company appeared to have completely ignored the request for accommodation by the employee.  The case also shows the importance of addressing an accommodation request and the potential for significant damages being paid if the employer fails to do so.  Employers need to be responsive and make sure they address accommodation requests made by an employee.