- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against Verizon Maryland for allegedly not allowing a worker with hypertension to apply for other positions in the company that would accommodate his disability, the agency announced Wednesday. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland after EEOC first tried to reach a settlement with Verizon through the agency’s conciliation process, EEOC said in a press release.
- The worker, a management employee, had asked his manager to move him to a field position he had held before, but the company allegedly refused, instead informing the employee he would need to resign and reapply for the position in six months. The worker wasn’t given other accommodations and resigned out of medical necessity, per EEOC.
- “Employers must be flexible and work in a spirit of problem solving and cooperation when responding to ADA accommodation requests,” EEOC Baltimore Field Office Director Rosemarie Rhodes said in a statement. “When an assignment is incompatible with an employee’s disability, other assignments must be considered.”
EEOC alleged Verizon violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating against a worker with a disability.
Under the ADA, employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations for workers with disabilities. Reasonable accommodations are steps a company can take to help a person with a disability perform their job. Those can include offering flexible working conditions, changing a schedule or reassigning a worker to a vacant position, per EEOC.
“Inviting an employee to resign and then reapply for work six months later can never be a reasonable accommodation,” EEOC Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence said in a statement.