CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced April 18 that Macy’s will pay $75,000 after allegations of discriminating against an employee with asthma who took one day off work to address emergency complications related to her disability.

"The ADA requires employers to reasonably accommodate disability-related absences that enable their employees to perform their job," Julianne Bowman, EEOC's district director in Chicago, said in a statement. "Here a one-day absence would have enabled the employee to return to the job she held for almost eight years. We are pleased with [the] settlement, which will compensate the victim and monitor Macy's accommodation practices with respect to the ADA." 

According to EEOC, an asthmatic employee who had been with Macy’s for nearly eight years needed an emergency day off work to be seen in a hospital emergency room for disability complications. Despite the fact that Macy’s policy allows employees to take absences for disability-related reasons, the company allegedly denied the employee’s day off and ultimately fired her.

"Macy's response to the employee's absence was not reasonable,” Greg Gochanour, regional attorney of EEOC's Chicago District Office, said in a statement. “The employee found herself in a potentially life-threatening circumstance and phoned Macy's to explain her absence before going to the hospital. The following day, she provided Macy's documentation from the hospital showing she was treated for asthma. Rather than accommodate the employee, Macy's fired her."

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