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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Daily Newspaper “Jackson Sun” Agrees to Pay $150,000 to Settle Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

The Gannett daily newspaper in Jackson, Tennessee, The Jackson Sun, has agreed to pay the amount of $150,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit.

Aside from the monetary relief, The Jackson Sun was also required to provide other reliefs to settle the lawsuit, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said in a press release.

According to the lawsuit that was filed by the EEOC against the said daily newspaper before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Eastern Division, The Jackson Sun terminated a commercial print manager exactly a week after his return from a medical leave. The employee was forced to take a leave to undergo a back surgery that left him with permanent spinal cord injury.

In its lawsuit, the EEOC claimed that the newspaper could have accommodated the employee without an effort and that the employee’s termination was unreasonable.

Under the Title I of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability unless the employer presents that the accommodation would bring an undue hardship.

As always, the lawsuit was filed upon following due process. And now, both parties have agreed to settle the same. However, The Jackson Sun should first provide training to all of its employees regarding discriminatory practices, and provide an annual report to the EEOC regarding any requests for an employee’s accommodation as well as the company’s response to the request.

Also, The Jackson Sun was required to post a notice regarding the lawsuit to be read by its employees and was directed to include its contact information on the post. Moreover, the newspaper was likewise required to modify its policy regarding medical and disability leave.

Such lawsuit could have been prevented if only the company had simply made a good-faith effort at a reasonable accommodation, informed the regional attorney for the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, Faye A. Williams. Williams further said that the EEOC will pursue in litigating such cases to make sure that employers abide with the very reasonable provisions of the federal disability rights law.

The statutes on disability discrimination include many other provisions that protect employees with disabilities against employment discrimination. If you have any disability and you have been discriminated by any company or employer, consult with a Los Angeles employment discrimination lawyer.

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