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EEOC files its first pandemic-related ADA lawsuit


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed its first pandemic-related Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit Wednesday, charging that a company terminated a woman with a pulmonary condition after refusing to accommodate her disability.

The lawsuit was filed against ISS Facility Services Inc., a Denmark-based workplace experience and facility management company with U.S. headquarters in San Antonio.

Because of the pandemic, ISS employees at its Takeda facility in Covington, Georgia, worked remotely four days a week from March-June 2020, according to the EEOC.

In March 2020, Ronisha Moncrief, who worked there as a health and safety manager, was diagnosed with obstructive lung disease, according to the lawsuit.

In June 2020, when the facility reopened and employees told to return to the facility five days a week, she requested an accommodation to work remotely two days per week and take frequent breaks while working onsite because of her condition, which causes her to have difficulty breathing, and places her at greater risk of contracting COVID-19, the EEOC said.

Although the company allowed other employees in Ms. Moncrief’s position to work from home, it denied her request and shortly thereafter fired her, the EEOC said.

The lawsuit, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. ISS Facility Services, Inc., which was filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, charges ISS with violating the ADA and seeks back pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages and injunctive relief.

The company did not respond to a request for comment.




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