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

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

Federal Court Awards $56,500 to Employee Terminated for Bipolar Disorder

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

After hearing the proof offered 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 methods” 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 too disabled to work due to his bipolar disorder because it regarded him.

The court additionally commended Reilly’s efforts to handle his impairment, attain success that is academic get yourself a work. Reilly ended up being an honor pupil in senior school whom went to university in Portland, Ore. on a scholarship that is academic. Whilst in university, he had been clinically determined to have bipolar disorder. Whenever their signs forced him to go out of college, he came back house to Walla Walla and found employment at Cottonwood, which does company due to the fact money Store.

Employed as an associate supervisor in June 2006, Reilly had been swiftly promoted to keep manager in October and received a honor when it comes to success of their shop in November 2006. But, in belated January 2007, Reilly, via a wellness care representative, requested a leave that is short adapt to brand brand new medicine prescribed by their physician to take care of his condition. Reilly alleged that the company denied this request, forcing him to come back to exert effort too early. The money Store fired Reilly in February 2007 – just times after their importance of unwell leave first arose.

The ADA and WLAD outlaw firing a worker due to disability and prohibit employment that is adverse inspired, even yet in component, by sick might toward a member of staff’s genuine or sensed disability or ask for an accommodation. After first trying to reach a voluntary settlement with Cottonwood through the EEOC’s conciliation procedure, the agency filed suit and ended up being accompanied by Reilly, through their personal counsel, Keller W. Allen of Spokane.

Judge Shea unearthed that the bucks Store broke the statutory legislation by firing Reilly and awarded him $6,500 in right right back wages and $50,000 for psychological discomfort and suffering. The court also issued a three-year injunction, requiring the bucks shop to teach its supervisors and hr personnel on anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws and regulations.

After the last purchase ended up being established, Reilly said, “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 job. To possess my impairment outweigh my performance within my company’s eyes had been crushing.”

Reilly proceeded, “This situation had been never ever about cash or any type of payback — it absolutely was constantly about doing the right thing to assist protect the liberties of men and women with disabilities. I really hope this verdict allows other folks with manic depression to possess the same opportunity at acquiring and keeping successful and satisfying professions and also to avoid future discrimination. It will make me personally happy and proud to learn that justice prevailed in this full instance.”

William Tamayo, the EEOC’s regional attorney in san francisco bay area, stated, “The court delivered a crucial message today that companies can not replace fiction for facts when making employment choices about disabled employees.

Companies performing on outdated urban myths and worries about disabilities must know that the EEOC will not shy away from taking ADA situations to trial to carry them in to the 21st century.”

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

Reilly’s private counsel Keller Allen added, “The court saw through the multiple and changing excuses offered by Cottonwood for firing Sean Reilly. This really is a well-deserved success for the hard-working individual that declined to permit their impairment to be used to create a limitation on their achievements.”

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