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A firm that provides services in Delaware correctional facilities and other state institutions will pay $550,000 to settle charges by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that it unlawfully enforced inflexible maximum leave policies in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The EEOC said Tuesday that Smyrna, Delaware-based Connections CSP Inc. fired people with disabilities who needed additional unpaid leave beyond the required 12 weeks under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
It said the company also did not provide other requested reasonable accommodations that would have allowed workers with disabilities to remain employed, such as reassignment to vacant positions.
Instead, the agency said, the company placed those employees on FMLA leave and terminated them when their leave expired.
In addition to paying the $550,000 in monetary relief to five former employees, under the three-year consent decree resolving the EEOC’s lawsuit the company agreed to implement and disseminate new, reasonable accommodation policy to all employees, among other provisions.
“Federal law makes it clear: Employers must provide reasonable accommodations as needed, including modifying leave policies or reassignment to a vacant position, unless it would be an undue hardship - which was not the case here,” said Deborah M. Lawrence EEOC regional attorney for the agency’s Philadelphia district, in a statement.
Connections’ attorney could not be reached for comment.
In April, a federal appeals court reinstated an ADA claim filed by the fired employee of a restoration firm, stating he had provided enough evidence to indicate his firm regarded him as disabled.
A bank has agreed to pay $700,000 to settle an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit that charged the bank with an inflexible disability policy.