CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit Oct. 3 against Home Depot for allegations of discriminating against an employee who suffered a disability-related emergency.
According to the EEOC, April Stevenson was an employee at the company's store in Peru, Illinois, who suffered from irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia. Instead of letting Stevenson take a brief break from work to care for herself, the company fired her.
"Our investigation revealed that Home Depot fired Ms. Stevenson after she had a medical emergency related to her disabilities that required prompt attention," said EEOC Chicago District director Julianne Bowman. "Home Depot failed to provide her adequate means to attend to her disability, then fired her for minor policy infractions that were caused only by Home Depot's failure to accommodate her."
The EEOC seeks full make-whole relief: back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive relief against Home Depot to prevent further discrimination.
"The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities,” said EEOC Chicago District regional attorney Greg Gochanour. “Ms. Stevenson simply needed a short break to care for herself and then return to work - an accommodation that Home Depot easily could have provided."
EEOC’s Chicago District Office oversees agency operations in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota and South Dakota, with area offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.