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Maryland employee's discrimination lawsuit ends in settlement

A national drug store chain has agreed to a $250,000 settlement with a former employee who claims that he was fired because of his disability. The settlement also dictates that the company may commit no additional violations of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and that it must provide additional ADA training for store managers to ensure that no such violations take place in the future.

The employment lawsuit was filed on behalf of the former employee by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Rite Aid Corporation. In the suit, the EEOC accused managers of Rite Aid's Mid-Atlantic Customer Service Center, located in Maryland, of firing the employee because he suffered from epilepsy. The company is also accused of failing to make any reasonable accommodations to protect the employee or his coworkers from injury connected to his epilepsy.

This was not the first lawsuit filed against Rite Aid by the EEOC and the Maryland employee. He had previously filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC, stating that he had been denied promotions because of his epilepsy. After the EEOC issued an administrative finding in the employee's favor, the most recent suit claims, Rite Aid retaliated against him by ordering him to undergo a fitness-for-duty examination with a doctor who had no significant epilepsy knowledge or experience. Rite Aid justified its firing of the employee with the opinions of its doctor, rather than using the information provided by the employee's neurologist, who was also an epilepsy specialist.

In his suit, the employee claims that he worked for the Maryland facility for 10 years without his epilepsy causing any injury to himself or his coworkers. It is not known whether he will continue to work for the company.

Source: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Rite Aid to Pay $250,000 to Settle EEOC Disability and Retaliation Discrimination Lawsuit," Nov. 7, 2012

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