EEOC: Embassy Suites San Diego Bay operators committed disability discrimination

By Mark Iandolo | Apr 17, 2018

SAN DIEGO (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit April 3 against Merritt Hospitality LLC and HEI Hotels and Resorts LLC, the dual operators of the Embassy Suites San Diego Bay, for allegedly denying reasonable accommodation to an employee with asthma in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

"The interactive process is at the heart of the ADA," Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District, said in a statement. "A good-faith dialog with an employee enables an employer to identify possible reasonable accommodations and prevents the employer from violating the ADA."

According to allegations, an employee at the hotel who had asthma was forced to work in a room with no windows or ventilation. This office situation triggered major respiratory problems in the employee. The EEOC says the defendants fired the employee rather than determine whether it could make a reasonable accommodation.

"Many accommodations for disabilities are low-cost or no-cost, causing little or no disruption to the business,” Christopher Green, director of the EEOC's San Diego local office, said in a statement. “Employers are required to explore such possibilities for good reasons.”

The EEOC seeks monetary damages for the employee and injunctive relief to prevent future discrimination by the defendants.

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