A disability discrimination lawsuit filed against Kmart Corporation has ended with the retail chain agreeing to pay a settlement of $102,048.
The complaint, which was levied against Kmart by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), accused the retailer of discriminating against a job applicant for its Hyattsville, Maryland, store because of a medical condition. According to an EEOC press release, the applicant was required to provide the store's hiring manager with a urine sample as part of the company's mandatory drug screening policy, but was physically unable to comply because he suffers from a kidney disease that requires dialysis treatment.
In lieu of this, the applicant requested to offer an alternative test — blood, hair or any kind of sample other than urine — to still meet this drug screening requirement. However, the retailer refused to accommodate the man's disability and consequently rejected his employment. The EEOC lawsuit blasted this behavior as a clear violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which stipulates that employers have to accommodate employees or job applicants who can prove "an undue hardship."
"There was a readily available alternative to the urinalysis test in this situation," said Spencer Lewis, Jr., district director for EEOC Philadelphia, in an official statement. "This case demonstrates the consequences of failing to comply with the ADA can be far more expensive than the actual cost of providing a reasonable accommodation."
As part of the settlement, not only does Kmart have to pay out $102,048 in damages to the applicant, but will also have to revise its drug screening policies and re-train hiring managers to ensure that ADA accommodations are taught and enforced to supervisors.
If you believe you've been discriminated against by an employer or supervisor, make an appointment with the free consultation lawyers of The Meyers Law Firm. Our expert legal professionals can assess your claim and fight for any damages you may be owed.