Employees of Coca-Cola Refreshments USA Inc. filed charges against their employer alleging that the company did not provide appropriate accommodations for employees who return from disability-related absences.
Not only did Coke Refreshments agree to compensate the employees, it has agreed to update its accommodations policies and procedures as well as provide financial support to entities dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities find and keep employment. The company is also planning to establish a dedicated accommodation and leave team to provide assistance to employees.
The EEOC and Coke Refreshments were able to reach the agreement through conciliation, which is attempted before the EEOC files a lawsuit. Representatives for the EEOC commended Coke Refreshments for setting an example for other employers to follow and for making the agreement public. The terms of most agreements with the EEOC are kept confidential.
Employers are required under federal law to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability, unless doing so would cause a significant difficulty or expense for the employer. Additionally, employees cannot be discriminated against when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
The EEOC reports it is also illegal to harass an employee or application because he or she has a disability. Harassment can include offensive remarks that are so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment action.
If you believe you have been the victim of discrimination or harassment related to a disability, contact our office at 330-470-4428 for a free consultation.
For more information about disability discrimination, click here.