MIAMI — A federal agency alleges two Miami sheet metal fabrication and installation companies fired an employee because he lost one eye due to an out-of-work injury.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division against Universal Diversified Enterprises Inc. and Universal Diversified Solutions LLC, alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
According to the EEOC, the companies refused to allow a sheet metal installer employee who lost his left eye in a injury outside of the workplace to return to work even though he was cleared by his medical provider. A supervisor allegedly told the employee that they did not want him to return to work because he would be a liability to the company and that the owner did not want to deal with that "headache."
"This man was medically cleared to return to work, and the company had no right to assume he was incapable," EEOC Miami District Office district director Michael Farrell said in a statement. "Employers cannot rely on their uninformed stereotypes and fears about actual or perceived disabilities to make employment decisions."
The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages as well as punitive damages for the terminated employee.