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West Virginia car dealership fires worker because of disability

When someone is treated unfairly at work or even fired because of disability discrimination, he or she has a right to seek legal recourse. Employees are protected against such mistreatment at the hands of their employers under federal law.

Maryland residents may have heard that, last week, a major car dealership agreed to pay $56,000 to a former employee in West Virginia who had been fired because of his leg condition. The Ford-Lincoln-Mercury car dealership agreed to pay the monetary relief to settle the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's lawsuit last week, according to the EEOC.

The EEOC's lawsuit alleged that the dealership refused to accommodate the employee, and then fired him. The employee reportedly had a leg condition that affected his ability to walk. The EEOC charged that the company's conduct violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The EEOC reportedly tried to reach a settlement out of court before filing the suit. In addition to the financial settlement paid to the employee, the agreement bars the dealership from engaging in any further discriminatory or relation practices. The company is mandated to adopt new policies and training practices to begin reasonably accommodating its disabled employees.

The director of the EEOC's Philadelphia District Office, which oversees Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio, explained in a press release that in light of a disability, the ADA requires the employer to distinguish between essential and non-essential functions of a job. Then, the employer must work to reasonably accommodate for the employee's disability.

The practical implications of the ADA are complicated. To learn how what your rights are and how to fight for them in an employment discrimination case, consider contacting a workplace rights attorney.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Jim Robinson Ford-Lincoln-Mercury to Pay $56,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Lawsuit," Dec. 16, 2011

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