ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit May 17 against Cooper Machine Company Inc., a seller and manufacturer of equipment for the sawmill industry, for allegedly firing an employee because of her disability.
"Federal law does not allow employers to terminate an employee merely because the employer believes there are 'medical issues,'" Bernice Williams-Kimbrough, director of the EEOC's Atlanta District Office, said in a statement.
According to allegations, the company terminated the employee after its chief financial officer learned she took medication to deal with anxiety. Purported conduct of this nature violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC seeks injunctive relief to prevent Cooper Machine from discrimination in the future. It also seeks back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the employee.
"The company directly told the employee why it was terminating her and gave her a written document stating their reason,” Antonette Sewell, regional attorney for the Atlanta District Office, said in a statement. “Such a termination is illegal and has been illegal since the ADA was passed."