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EEOC files suit against Regions Financial Corp. for age, disability discrimination


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against Regions Financial Corp., which does business as Regions Bank, for alleged age and disability discrimination.

On behalf of former bank manager Margaret Hardy, the EEOC alleges that Regions Bank failed to provide Ms. Hardy reasonable accommodations for her disability and was fired because of her age, according to the lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee in Memphis.

In 2010, Ms. Hardy, a branch manager at a bank location in Memphis, was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, which caused fatigue and heightened anxiety, and requested a voluntary demotion to a less stressful position.

Ms. Hardy was informed that she was unable to take a “step back” in her position because of prior written warning. After a final written warning in 2010, Ms. Hardy was terminated in June 2012, according to court documents.

The EEOC alleges that Ms. Hardy, 61, received a less favorable discharge than younger, similarly situated branch managers with written warnings, according to the suit.

“Reasonable accommodations allow most people with disabilities to work successfully,” said Katharine W. Kores, the EEOC's director for the Memphis district office, said in a Monday statement. “Further, the EEOC takes special interest when age is used to discriminate against more experienced workers.”

The EEOC alleges that Regions Bank violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and seeks monetary damages on behalf of Ms. Hardy, among other damages.

Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Bank, which operates 1,600 banks across 16 states, declined to comment.