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Home Depot to Pay $100,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit
November 6, 2012
The largest home improvement specialty retailer in the world will pay $100,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that Home Depot, U.S.A., Inc. failed to provide a reasonable accommodation for a cashier with cancer at its Towson, Md., store and then fired her because of her condition. The EEOC said that Judy Henderson, a cashier who consistently received favorable performance evaluations during her 13-year tenure with Home Depot, requested unpaid leave for surgery to remove a tumor. EEOC contended that Home Depot initially accommodated her disability by granting her unpaid leave, but then advised Henderson that she would be terminated if she did not advise the company of her status. EEOC charged that even though Henderson promptly sent medical documentation confirming when she would be medically released to return to work in October 2010, the retailer did not respond to her medical notes and instead fired her. Home Depot told Henderson she was being let go due to a lack of work, but EEOC claimed that was but a subterfuge for disability discrimination. Before, when there had been a seasonal lack of work, Henderson had been temporarily laid off as opposed to permanently terminated. Further, the company hired two cashiers at the Towson store after Henderson submitted medical documentation that she would soon be able to return to work. Additional cashiers were hired at nearby locations.
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