EEOC Wins Disability Discrimination Suit Against Payday Lender ‘The Money Store’

EEOC Wins Disability Discrimination Suit Against Payday Lender ‘The Money Store’

Federal Court Awards $56,500 to worker Terminated for manic depression

SEATTLE – Today the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a success in another of its disability that is first discrimination taken fully to trial concerning bipolar disorder. Carrying out a four-day bench trial, a federal region court joined judgment for $56,500 against Irving, Tex.-based Cottonwood Financial. The court discovered that the business violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) additionally the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) whenever it fired a worker from the Walla Walla, Wash., shop.

After hearing the proof provided at trial in EEOC v. Cottonwood Financial, Ltd. (No. CV-09-5073-EFS, E. D. Wash.), U.S. District Judge Edward F. Shea noted “Cottonwood’s lacking ADA policies and techniques” and discovered that the business’s half-dozen various rationales for terminating shop manager Sean Reilly had been a pretext for discrimination and that the business had in fact fired Reilly as it regarded him as too disabled to function because of their bipolar disorder.

The court additionally commended Reilly’s efforts to cope with their impairment, attain success that is academic get yourself a work. Reilly had been an honor pupil in twelfth grade who went to college in Portland, Ore. for a educational scholarship. Whilst in college, he had been identified as having manic depression. When their signs forced him to go out of school, he came back home to Walla Walla and discovered employment at Cottonwood, which does company while the money Store.

Employed as an associate supervisor in June 2006, Reilly ended up being swiftly promoted to keep supervisor in October and received a honor when it comes to success of their shop in November 2006. Nonetheless, in belated January 2007, Reilly, by way of a wellness care representative, requested a quick leave to adapt to new medicine recommended by their medical practitioner to take care of their condition. Reilly alleged that the organization denied this demand, forcing him to go back to the office too early. The money Store fired Reilly in 2007 – just days after his need for sick leave first arose february.

The ADA and WLAD outlaw firing a member of staff as a result of impairment and prohibit employment that is adverse motivated, even yet in component, by sick might toward a member of staff’s genuine or identified disability or request an accommodation. The agency filed suit and was joined by Reilly, through his private counsel, Keller W. Allen of Spokane after first trying to reach a voluntary settlement with Cottonwood through the EEOC’s conciliation process.

Judge Shea unearthed that the bucks Store broke the statutory legislation by firing Reilly and awarded him $6,500 in right straight back wages and $50,000 for psychological discomfort and suffering. The court also issued an injunction that is three-year needing The Cash Store to teach its supervisors and human resources workers on anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation guidelines.

Following the order that is final established, Reilly stated, “It felt as though a long period of psychological harm had unexpectedly been healed. After my diagnosis, i must say i challenged myself to beat the odds and excel at the office. To own my disability outweigh my performance in my own manager’s eyes had been crushing.”

Reilly continued, “This situation was never about cash or any type of payback — it had been constantly about doing the thing that is right assist protect the liberties of people with disabilities. I am hoping this verdict allows other folks with manic depression to possess the same possibility at acquiring and maintaining effective and satisfying jobs also to avoid future discrimination. It generates me happy and proud to understand that justice prevailed in this full situation.”

William Tamayo, the EEOC’s local lawyer in san francisco bay area, stated, “The court delivered a crucial message today that employers can not substitute fiction for facts when coming up with work choices about disabled employees.

Employers functioning on outdated myths and worries about disabilities have to know that the EEOC will not shy far from using ADA situations to test to create them to the twenty-first century.”

Tamayo respected EEOC Supervisory Trial Attorney John Stanley for overseeing the litigation, Senior Trial Attorneys Damien Lee and Jamal Whitehead for representing the EEOC at test, and Investigator Annalie Greer for investigating the actual situation allegations.

Reilly’s personal counsel Keller Allen added, “The court saw through the numerous and excuses that are changing by Cottonwood for firing Sean Reilly. This is certainly a well-deserved success for a hard-working individual that declined to permit their disability to be utilized to create a limit on their achievements.”

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