Hard to believe that adults act no differently than children, but bullying is not limited to school grounds...it continues in the workplace, even among those in leadership positions. Because a Supervisor bullied an employee with intellectual disabilities, Dillon Companies, Inc., owners of the King Soopers supermarket chain in Colorado, will pay $80,000 to the employee to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC. According to the suit, not one, but TWO supervisors repeatedly subjected a ten-year employee to repeated bullying and taunting because of his learning disability. The EEOC alleged that this harassment ultimately led to Stringer’s termination.
Such conduct violates the ADA & the EEOC is serious about eliminating this intolerable behavior in the workplace. When employers become aware of harassment, they must take immediate action. Employees with disabilities must be treated with the same dignity and respect as all other members of the work force. In addition to the monetary settlement, King Soopers is now required to provide training to all of its supervisors and managers about the ADA and how to properly interact with employees with special needs. King Soopers will also make periodic reports to the EEOC concerning all complaints of disability discrimination for the next three years.
If your company hasn't provided ADA & disability awareness training or it's been a long time since & new staff have joined your company, start the new year off right with training that will minimize your risk for a potential & unnecessary disability discrimination lawsuit. Hesitating can be costly.
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.