Those active in any capacity in matters pertaining to employment law are watching a case filed in Portland, Maine. Disability discrimination can be a real problem in the workplace and it can also be a very difficult situation to determine. There are not always clear cut definitions. For instance, in this case involving an individual who suffers from Type 1 diabetes, it does appear that purposeful discriminatory actions have occurred. However, this case may not apply to every person who has diabetes. Many of the terms associated with disabilities and even discrimination are best defined by legal professionals such as Tayeb Hyderally who is an expert in employment law. When someone feels that they have been discriminated against in the workplace it is advisable to contact such a lawyer to determine if indeed discriminatory actions have occurred. Cases such as Manning vs. Kohl’s are those which are being watched closely as the outcome may very well affect individuals as well as employers for years to come.
EEOC vs. Kohl’s
Pamela Manning suffers from Type 1 diabetes. In order to control her condition she requires regular injections of insulin. She was employed at the Kohl’s located in Westbrook, Maine and had a consistent daily schedule. In January of 2010, the company switched her from a full time schedule to an irregular schedule which interfered with her routine daily medical care. Ms. Manning presented a doctor’s request to the company for her to be placed on a regular work schedule so that she could consistently monitor her illness. Kohl’s refused to change her to a regular schedule and she eventually developed serious health complications because she could not regularly administer her own medications. She eventually quit the job.
In August 2011, the EEOC filed suit against Kohl’s alleging that they were in violation of the ADA of 1990. The EEOC first attempted to settle this matter through a conciliation process but it was unsuccessful. Since a settlement was not possible, the EEOC pursued a law suit in which they seek monetary compensation on behalf of Ms. Manning as well as a revision to Kohl’s policies which relate to disability discrimination. They maintain that the company would be out no expense to simply set a regular schedule for Pamela Manning but that by not providing regularity in her schedule it caused catastrophic conditions for her.
Kohl’s did file a response to the charges filed by the EEOC. The company denies any wrongdoing and any liability with regard to disability discrimination. The company acknowledges the changes in Manning’s schedule, but denies the knowledge of her diabetes and medical condition. However, Kohl’s does acknowledge receiving the note from Ms. Manning’s physician but they deny that they refused to accommodate her needs. They claim that they made “good faith efforts” to accommodate the scheduling needs of Ms. Manning while she was an employee. They make no indication as to how they tried to make these accommodations.
Awaiting a Decision
Litigation continues in this very important disability discrimination case. The ADA prohibits any type of disability discrimination by employers which includes failing to make any type of reasonable accommodation for specific needs of an employee. Since Kohl’s appears to adjust Ms. Manning’s schedule to allow for specific medical needs, the lawsuit claims that she was discriminated against and are in violation of the ADA.
The EEOC investigates these types of allegations and enforces laws such as the ADA and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Upon a complaint being filed by an employee, the EEOC investigates to determine if they feel there was any illegal discrimination.