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Colorado construction firm settles disability discrimination lawsuit

A Colorado construction company will pay $42,500 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination suit brought by a federal agency, according to a press release.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) suit alleged Colorado Excavating fired office assistant Dora Marquez just four days after she suffered a seizure at work. Before firing Marquez, Colorado Excavating failed to engage in the required interactive process to discuss potential accommodations. The EEOC also charged the com­pany engaged in recordkeeping and confidentiality violations by not keeping medical information in separate medical files and by shredding employment applications.

The three-year consent decree settling the lawsuit requires annual training for all employees, management officials, and human resources personnel with an emphasis on disability discrimination and the interactive process. The first annual training will include a component of Epilepsy 101 training provided by the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado. The decree also requires periodic reports to the EEOC of all internal disability discrimination complaints. The monetary award includes back pay and compensatory damages.

“Far too often, people with seizure disorders are denied employment opportunities because of myths and fears about their condition,” said Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office. “As this case shows, employment decisions should not be driven by stereotypes and fears about people with epilepsy.”

 

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