When an individual has a disability, his or her employer is required to allow accommodations for that disability. Refusal to do so goes against the American with Disabilities Act. Firing an employee because he or she requested certain accommodations is also not okay. Any California resident who has been wrongfully terminated or refused disability accommodations may file an EEOC claim to seek compensation for his or her losses.
A woman who believed she was wrongfully terminated and refused disability accommodations did file an EEOC claim against her former employer, Merritt Hospitality and HEI Hotels and Resorts, and won. The job assignment she was given at a hotel in San Diego reportedly had poor ventilation, which caused her to suffer breathing issues. She asked for an accommodation, but the company did not provide one that improved the situation. She eventually required hospitalization because her work environment caused her body to experience significant distress. Soon after that event, she was fired from her job.
In order to clear this matter, the company agreed to settle the lawsuit to the tune of $125,000. Merritt Hospitality and HEI Hotels and Resorts has also agreed to update policies, improve ADA training and retain a specialist who will help the company remain compliant with ADA policies. It is unclear if the former employee was given back her job as part of the settlement agreement as well or if she has just chosen to move on.
An EEOC claim can be difficult to navigate. California residents who feel that they can make such a claim can -- like the woman mentioned above -- do so with the assistance of legal counsel. With the right help, it may be possible to negotiate a fair settlement or litigate the matter successfully in court.