ADA in the News June 10, 2021

Treehouse Foods to Pay $50,000 and Provide Benefits to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Treehouse Foods, Inc. / Treehouse Foods Private Brands, Inc., a food products manufacturer in Forest Park, Ga., will pay $50,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

The EEOC’s suit charged that Treehouse Foods denied its 19-year employee’s request for intermittent unpaid leave as an accommodation to receive treatment for her disabilities. Instead, the EEOC said, the company failed to engage in the required interactive process and assessed attendance infraction points to the employee under a rigid attendance policy. Treehouse Foods then fired the employee for exceeding the permissible number of attendance points, the EEOC said, despite the fact she provided medical excuses for her absences and despite the fact the leave was later approved by Treehouse Foods’ leave administrator. Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination based on a disability.


ADA Didn't Require Sanofi to Allow Sales Reps' 'Job Sharing'

Janet Perdue, who was originally based in South Carolina, was hired by Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC in 2001 and in 2013 was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor, which affected her vision and ability to walk.

When Perdue returned to work, Sanofi allowed her to split her job duties with another employee. She eventually returned to a fulltime position, and in 2017 was transferred to Asheville, North Carolina. Perdue began experiencing pain and stiffness related to her medical condition shortly after the transfer, and requested another job-sharing arrangement. Sanofi denied the proposal, citing concerns about the other employee and tensions within the company after a round of layoffs, according to court filings. Sanofi then claimed that no reasonable accommodation would allow Perdue to perform the essential functions of her job, and fired her.


Judge Weighs Requiring Lyft to Provide Wheelchair Users Equal Service

The Berkeley and New York-based Disability Rights Advocates group filed the class-action complaint in US Northern District Court against Lyft in 2019, alleging it ran afoul of the ADA by failing to ensure service for those who require special wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) to get around.

The suit didn't aim to pinch Lyft's purse - instead, disability community advocates wished to push the ride-hail giant to provide wheelchair-accessible service in the Bay Area that's "full and equal" to the service it provides the rest of the public.


Suit Alleges Disability Discrimination at Lake Oswego School

The Lake Oswego School District was served a federal lawsuit, filed April 23, alleging discrimination against a student with disabilities. The plaintiff, known in court documents as Plaintiff W.P., filed two claims for relief in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, which was filed at the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, asserts that although the district has known since at least 2016 of the plaintiff's disabilities, and created and implemented a 504 plan to address the plaintiffs' learning accommodations, it failed to make accommodations outlined in the plaintiff's 504 plan.

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