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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
10-1-12

EEOC Sues Regions Bank for Age and Disability Discrimination

Federal  Agency Charges Bank Fired Branch Manager Because of Her Age, Disability

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Regions  Financial Corporation, doing business as Regions Bank, violated federal law by  firing a 61-year-old manager because of her age and refusing to provide her  with a reasonable accommodation for her disability, the U.S. Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed on September 28,  2012. 

According to the EEOC's suit,  Regions Bank fired the manager of a Memphis branch after she requested a  reasonable accommodation for her disability, hyperthyroidism, which caused her  debilitating fatigue and heightened anxiety.   The EEOC said the branch manager had worked for Regions Bank's  predecessor for more than 30 years and had worked for Regions Bank since  2005.  The EEOC further alleges that Regions  refused her request for reasonable accommodation and failed to engage in the  interactive process to accommodate the manager which is required under federal  law.  Further, the EEOC said, Regions  treated younger managers more favorably than the branch manager.  

The EEOC filed suit (Civil  Action No. 2:12-cv-2855 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of  Tennessee, Western Division) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation  settle­ment through its conciliation process.   Denial of a reasonable accommodation to a disabled individual violates  Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, and  discriminating on the basis of age violates the Age Discrimination in  Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967.  The  lawsuit asks the court to grant permanent  injunctions enjoining Regions Bank from further denying reasonable accom­modations  to disabled individuals and engaging in any further employment practices that  discriminate because of age.  The EEOC is  also asking the court to order Regions Bank to compensate the manager for lost  back pay and liquidated damages, as well as  compensatory and punitive damages.

"Reasonable accommodations allow most people with disabilities to  work successfully," said Katharine W. Kores, the EEOC's director for the  Memphis District Office.  "Employers  should understand that ignoring an employee's request for a reasonable  accommodation is unlawful.  Further, the EEOC  takes special interest when age is used to discriminate against more  experienced workers.  The EEOC is  committed to its meeting its responsibilities to enforce the ADA and ADEA to  protect the rights of such aggrieved employees." 

Regions Bank is a financial banking institution.  It is owned by Regions Financial Corporation,  which operates about 1,800 banks across 16 states, including Tennessee.  Regions Financial Corporation headquarters  are in Birmingham, Ala.  

The EEOC enforces federal  laws prohibiting employment discrimination.   Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.