NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit July 6 against M&T Bank for allegations that Hudson City Savings Bank (HCSB), a company merged into M&T Bank in 2015, violated federal disability discrimination laws.
"The purpose of the Americans with Disabilities Act is to ensure that qualified employees will not be prevented from earning a living because of unfounded assumptions about their disabilities," said Jeffrey Burstein, regional attorney for the EEOC's New York District. "Employers may not force employees who are perfectly capable of fulfilling their job duties to leave work because of their disabilities or demand medical certifications unrelated to their jobs as a condition of employment."
According to allegations, HCSB failed to accommodate employees who sought reasonable accommodation for disabilities. The company purportedly forced employees to deliver a certification from a medical provider stating that they could work with "no restrictions.” If employees failed to do so, HCSB allegedly placed them on leave.
"HCSB employees with medical conditions and disabilities knew about the bank's treatment of workers who needed accommodations, and some even avoided requesting them as a result. No American worker should have to be afraid of requesting a reasonable accommodation for his or her disability,” said Kevin Berry, the EEOC's New York District director.