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It seems that some people just never learn. Despite being on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission‘s radar for alleged past violations of employment laws, AutoZone employees are still complaining about their employer’s actions. Our employment law lawyers have blogged about some of AutoZone’s prior disability discrimination indiscretions. But just this past month, the EEOC announced that it is pursuing a lawsuit against AutoZone for the fourth time, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act or the ADA.
Employers and Employees alike may find it confusing to try and decipher how much time off from work a disabled employee should be permitted. But the most recent suit brought by the EEOC alleges that AutoZone’s attendance policy pretty clearly violates the ADA. From 2009 – 2011, AutoZone used a points system to track attendance. Each absence counted for a small number of points, and an employee was allowed to accumulate up to twelve points before termination. The EEOC alleges the problem with the system was that it failed to take into account absences based on an employee’s disability. One employee with Type 2 diabetes was terminated after her accrued too many points due to leaving early because of insulin reactions. Another employee was terminated after complaining about the attendance system and filing a charge with the EEOC.
As we mentioned above, this is not the first time this company has been in hot water with the EEOC. AutoZone’s previous indiscretions include:
- A 2009 consent decree for $140,000 involving a claim that a visually impaired employee was not promoted, or allowed to use a guide dog. The company also was required to conduct ADA training in all the stores located in Arizona;
- A 2011 jury award resulting in a judgment against AutoZone for $424,000 after an employee alleged that he was forced to mop floors which led to an aggravation of his disability;
- A 2012 lawsuit filed by a female employee who alleged that AutoZone fired her rather than accommodate her lifting restrictions.
When the recent disability discrimination lawsuit was announced based on AutoZone’s attendance policy, a regional attorney for the EEOC was quoted as saying, “it is especially disappointing any time a huge national employer with tens of thousands of employees repeatedly engages in unlawful discrimination against individuals with disabilities and declines to share responsibility for maintaining a level playing field for disabled American workers.”
Having to live with a disability is difficult enough without worrying about the effect it may have on your job. If you are disabled or your employer perceives you as being disabled; and you have been fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, denied wages, or even think that you might need a disability discrimination lawyer, then call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at (216) 291-4744. The best option is not to wait. The Spitz Law Firm, and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to protecting disabled employees’ rights under ADA and Ohio employment law.
The materials available at the top of this page and on this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “how do I get a work accommodation for my disability?”, “am I disabled under the ADA?”, “what should I do if…” or “can my boss fired me for …”, it would be best for you to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to disability discrimination questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, attorney, Brian Spitz or any individual attorney.