Discrimination in any form has no place in the workplace and yet every year there are still literally thousands of employment law cases filed in the US courts. Tayeb Hyderally is an expert at employment law and works diligently to inform individuals and corporations about how the workplace can be a safe environment for all. He speaks publicly to inform individuals of their rights and responsibilities so that they can protect themselves from discriminatory practices as well as recognize these actions in others and report them to the appropriate supervisors. Mr. Hyderally also works on the corporate level to educate them on how to keep the workplace free from any discriminatory actions and he provides counsel on how to establish policies and procedures which offer employees a way to handle them if they fell they have occurred. In this case the employer failed to work with the employee who was asking for a leave of absence because of a disability.
EEOC vs. O’Reilly Auto Parts
O’Reilly Automotive Stores, Inc. is a national retailer who operates as O’Reilly Auto Parts. They offer a wide variety of tools, supplies and automotive parts to consumers who can make their own vehicle repairs. One of their stores located in Madison, Wisconsin hired Heath Craft who was later diagnosed with a seizure disorder. Mr. Craft was diagnosed with the disorder in February of 2011. He notified the store of his impairment on March 9, 2011; and then requested a 30 day leave of absence for the purpose of obtaining treatments. O’Reilly Auto Parts did not engage him in any sort of good-faith process and did not interact with him in any way about his request for leave. Instead, they fired him March 31, 2011. Mr. Craft alleges that he only requested a short leave of absence so that he could get proper treatment so that he would be able to continue performing successfully for the company.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a suit in the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin in Madison. O’Reilly claims that they are a company who treats their employees fairly and have procedures in place. It seems that the company has failed to comply with their own principles. According to John C. Hendrickson who is the EEOC Chicago Regional Attorney, the accommodations requested were indeed reasonable and would not have caused an undue hardship on the business. He felt if Mr. Craft had been granted the requested leave it could have made a huge difference in his performance level. By ignoring the request, the company was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act which is a federal law.
The EEOC first attempted to come to a pre-litigation settlement but after it failed, they pursued the lawsuit. They are asking for Mr. Craft to be awarded lost wages. They also want to obtain compensatory as well as punitive damages. The EEOC would like to see orders which will bar any future discrimination on the part of the employer. This employment law case will be litigated by attorneys who are located in the Milwaukee Area Office.