NEW YORK — The federal government has filed a lawsuit against Grand Hyatt New York, alleging the hotel discriminated against a front desk agent with chronic back impairment.
According to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a Grand Hyatt New York front desk agent's back impairment was aggravated after long periods of standing and requested to sit in a chair while working the front desk. The hotel allowed the employee to have the chair for two weeks and then refused to accommodate the employee's disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the EEOC said.
"Federal law on disability accommodations is very clear and fair -- employers must provide a reasonable accommodation as long as it causes no undue burden," EEOC New York District director Kevin Berry said in a statement. "A request for a chair is hardly likely to create such a burden."
"A refusal to provide a simple, low-cost accommodation to an individual with a disability is a clear violation of the law," EEPC trial attorney Kirsten Peters added. "This lawsuit could have easily been avoided if Grand Hyatt New York had done the right thing."
The EEOC seeks back pay, plus compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief.