According to the U.S. EEOC, United Airlines agreed to settle a federal lawsuit alleging that the company violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) when it refused to allow employees with disabilities to work reduced hourly schedules as a reasonable accommodation. As part of a three-year consent decree, the airline will pay $600,000 to a group of reservation agents with disabilities and it will end its blanket policy against reduced hourly schedules and provide training to staffers who administer United's reasonable accommodation process.
Prior to 2003, United had permitted reservations sales and service representatives to work reduced hourly schedules as an ADA accommodation. When United abolished this policy, they started requiring all reservation sales and service representatives who could not work their full schedules to either retire or go out on extended leave, and then terminated them when their leave ran out. Because ADA accommodations are based on individual circumstance and need, blanket policies such as these, automatically violate the ADA.
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