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A company that provides workers to dispense free food samples to shoppers, which allegedly did not let its employees sit for more than 10 minutes every two hours, has agreed to pay $2.65 million to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission disability lawsuit, the agency said Thursday.
The EEOC, which filed suit against Plano, Texas-based Crossmark Inc. in 2018, alleged sitting for longer periods would have been a reasonable accommodation that enabled employees to perform the job, the agency said in its statement.
It said some employees were permitted to sit as needed when they performed the same job while working directly for the retailers, but refused to allow the same accommodation when Crossmark took over the events.
The company was charged with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In addition to providing monetary relief for more than 100 former food demonstrators, under terms of the 4 ½-year consent decree settling the suit Crossmark must designate ADA coordinators to address accommodation requests, among other provisions.
L. Jack Vasquez Jr., director of the EEOC’s St. Louis District Office, said in the statement, “Providing reasonable accommodation to qualified workers who are able to perform the essential functions of their jobs is not only required by law, it is smart business.”
Crossmark’s attorneys could not be reached.
The EEOC said in September that a firm that provides services in Delaware correctional facilities and other state institutions will pay $550,000 to settle EEOC charges that it unlawfully enforced inflexible maximum leave policies in violation of the ADA.
A California food producer and distributor will pay $2 million to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity race discrimination lawsuit in which it was charged with refusing to hire non-Hispanic applicants for unskilled positions.