EEOC Wins Disability Discrimination Suit Against Payday Lender ‘The Bucks Store’

EEOC Wins Disability Discrimination Suit Against Payday Lender ‘The Bucks Store’

Federal Court Awards $56,500 to Employee Terminated for manic depression

SEATTLE – Today the U.S. Equal Employment chance Commission (EEOC) announced a success in just one of its disability that is first discrimination taken fully to trial concerning bipolar disorder. After a four-day bench test, a federal region court joined judgment for $56,500 against Irving, Tex.-based Cottonwood Financial. The court discovered that the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) additionally the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) whenever it fired a member of staff from the Walla Walla, Wash., shop.

After hearing the evidence offered at trial in EEOC v. Cottonwood Financial, Ltd. (No. CV-09-5073-EFS, E. D. Wash.), U.S. District Judge Edward F. Shea noted «Cottonwood’s lacking ADA policies and methods» and discovered that the company’s half-dozen various rationales for terminating shop manager Sean Reilly had been a pretext for discrimination and therefore the company had in fact fired Reilly as too disabled to work due to his bipolar disorder because it regarded him.

The court additionally commended Reilly’s efforts to handle their impairment, attain academic success and get yourself a work. Reilly had been an honor pupil in senior school who went to university in Portland, Ore. on a scholastic scholarship. Whilst in university, he had been clinically determined to have manic depression. Whenever their signs forced him to go out of college, he came back house to Walla Walla and discovered work at Cottonwood, which does company because the Cash Store.

Employed as an associate supervisor in June 2006, Reilly had been swiftly promoted to keep manager in October and received a prize for the success of their shop in November 2006. Nevertheless, in belated January 2007, Reilly, via a health care representative, requested a leave that is short conform to brand new medication recommended by his physician to deal with his condition. Reilly alleged that the business denied this demand, forcing him to come back to operate too early. The money Store fired Reilly in February 2007 – just times after their requirement for ill leave first arose.

The ADA and WLAD outlaw firing a member of staff because of impairment and prohibit negative work choices inspired, even yet in part, by sick might toward a member of staff’s genuine or recognized impairment or ask for an accommodation. The agency filed suit and was joined by Reilly, through his private counsel, Keller W. Allen of Spokane after first trying to reach a voluntary settlement with Cottonwood through the EEOC’s conciliation process.

Judge Shea unearthed that the money Store broke the statutory legislation by firing Reilly and awarded him $6,500 in right back wages and $50,000 for psychological discomfort and suffering. The court additionally issued an injunction that is three-year needing the bucks shop to coach its supervisors and hr workers on anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation guidelines.

After the last purchase had been announced, Reilly said, «It felt as though many years of psychological harm had unexpectedly been healed. After my diagnosis, i truly challenged myself to beat the odds and do well at the job. To possess my impairment outweigh my performance within my boss’s eyes had been crushing.»

Reilly continued, «This case ended up being never ever about money or any type of payback — it was always about doing the thing that is right help protect the legal rights of individuals with disabilities. I am hoping this verdict allows other folks with manic depression to possess the same chance at getting and maintaining effective and fulfilling jobs and also to avoid discrimination that is future. It creates me personally happy and proud to learn that justice prevailed in this situation.»

William Tamayo, the EEOC’s regional lawyer in San Francisco, stated, «The court delivered a important message today that companies can not replace fiction for facts when creating work choices about disabled employees.

Employers performing on outdated myths and fears about disabilities need to find out that the EEOC will not shy far from using ADA cases to trial to create them in to the 21st century.»

Tamayo recognized EEOC Supervisory test Attorney John Stanley for overseeing the litigation, Senior Trial Attorneys Damien Lee and Jamal Whitehead for representing the EEOC at test, and Investigator Annalie Greer for investigating the scenario allegations.

Reilly’s personal counsel Keller Allen included, «The court saw through the numerous and excuses that are changing by Cottonwood for firing Sean Reilly. It is a well-deserved success for a hard-working individual that declined to permit his impairment to be utilized to create a limitation on their achievements.»

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