BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) –
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced Nov. 2 that
Safeway agreed to pay $27,000 in monetary damages and return an employee to
work after allegations of disability discrimination.
"This settlement should
encourage employers to use available resources to achieve a reasonable
accommodation – which is usually minimal or even effortless – to comply with
federal law and keep qualified workers with disabilities employed,"
EEOC Philadelphia District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr. said.
According to the lawsuit,
Patricia Bonds worked as a food clerk at a Safeway store in Westminster, Maryland,
and suffered a work-related injury that substantially limited her lifting
The company allegedly accommodated her at first, reassigning her to
the customer service desk, but then later placed her on indefinite unpaid
leave. EEOC charged Safeway with refusing to observe its legal duty to provide
a reasonable accommodation.
“We are pleased that Safeway
worked with us to craft a resolution that is good for Ms. Bonds, who will be
reinstated and compensated for her losses, and for Safeway, which now gets a
qualified worker back on the job,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M.
“The equitable relief in the settlement will also protect other
workers with disabilities from unlawful discrimination.”