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RockTenn to pay $187,500 to resolve disability discrimination allegations

By Mark Iandolo | Apr 20, 2016

DETROIT (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced RockTenn Company and RockTenn Services Inc. will pay $187,500 to resolve allegations of disability discrimination.

RockTenn, a paper and packaging manufacturer, owns a facility in Battle Creek, Michigan. The company allegedly failed to reasonably accommodate Glenn Janisch’s disability. Janisch began work with the company’s Battle Creek location in 2010. In January 2011, he underwent open heart coronary bypass surgery. He was purportedly cleared for short-term disability leave through mid-April. However, Janisch received medical clearance in early March to return to work, initially for half-days, and notified his employer. According to the allegations, RockTenn then terminated his employment.

"The law is clear that a medical leave of absence can be a reasonable accommodation under suitable circumstances," said Omar Weaver, senior trial attorney for EEOC's Detroit field office. "Employers must provide this type of accommodation, whenever possible, before they prematurely terminate employees with disabilities."

In the settlement, RockTenn is prohibited from disability discrimination and must post notices about the lawsuit and employee rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

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