Reasonable Accommodations Required for Disability Discrimination

     The EEOC reports that it recently settled a lawsuit alleging that M&T Bank discriminated against an employee because of her pregnancy-related disability.  The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that a branch manager informed a vice president that she would require surgery for her pregnancy related disability.  During her approved leave of absence, M&T told the employee that they would fill her position with somebody else if she did not receive a medical clearance to return to work in only ten days.  The employee was not cleared to return by her doctor until months later after she had given birth.  At this time, M&T required her to apply for a vacant position instead of reassigning her to the position that she had (the reasonable accommodation that she had requested).  The employee did re-apply to numerous positions, but she was not hired for any of the positions.  The EEOC claimed that M&T had 24 vacant positions in the region where the employee lived.  The Court held that M&T was obligated to provide the employee the reasonable accommodation of reassignment to a position for which was qualified without having to apply.  The EEOC won partial summary judgment on the reasonable accommodation issue.  This alleged conduct is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  See EEOC v. Manufacturers and Traders Trust Co., No. CV ELH-16-3180, 2019 WL 4305365 (D. Md. Sept. 10, 2019).

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