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ADA Blog #148: Staffmark Investment LLC and Sony Electronics, Inc.

#EEOC says #Staffmark Investment LLC and #Sony Electronics, Inc. fired an employee from a temporary job because of her #prosthetic leg.  *#Staffmark, a staffing agency, assigned DS to work on a temporary job for #Sony at #Ozzy Hessey Logistics' (OHL) facility located in #Romeoville, IL. #Sony uses #OHL #laborers to package and/or inspect #Sony products that are being shipped out. Despite the fact that she was working in the #OHL facility, DS’s supervisors were all #Sony #employees, who were also located at the #OHL facility.

On DS’s second day of employment on the #Sony job, a #Staffmark #employee told her that she was being removed from her assignment because they did not want anyone bumping into her, and that #Staffmark would find her another assignment where she could sit. #Staffmark never sent DS to work on any other job assignments even though she repeatedly called #Staffmark seeking work.

Does this violate the #ADA? According to the #EEOC; YES. The #ADA requires that individuals with #disabilities be judged on their #ability to perform the #essential #functions of the job, with or without a #reasonable #accommodation. This #employee performed her job with no difficulty, but was #fired because of #unjustified fears about her having a #prosthetic #leg.# Firing employees because of baseless fears and #stereotypes about their #disabilities is #illegal.

#Staffing #agencies cannot avoid #liability for #discrimination by saying they were just following an #employer-client's orders, nor can #employers avoid #liability by saying the individual was 'really employed' by their #staffing #agency.  "It's a pretty good bet that a worker with a #prosthetic #leg is always going to be #protected by the #ADA, and an equally good bet that flat-out #firing the worker for that reason is going to #violate the #law”, said #EEOC.

This #scenario should not be all that difficult for #employers to avoid. It starts with a thorough review of company policies. See Blog #126 for more information about contingent workers placed by staffing firms. This blog includes suggestions about information to include in your company’s policy concerning workers with #disabilities.

*#Staffmark is one of the top ten commercial #staffing #companies in the US, with more than 300 offices in 30 states. #Sony Electronics, Inc. is the largest component of #Sony Corporation of America, the U.S. holding company for #Sony's electronics and entertainment business.

Shelley

This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.