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PRESS RELEASE
6-25-12

United Road Towing to Pay $380,000 to Resolve EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Nationwide Towing Company  Failed to Provide Reasonable Accommodations to Class of Employees With  Disabilities, Federal Agency Charged

CHICAGO – United  Road Towing, Inc., a Mokena, Ill.-based towing company, will pay $380,000 to 13  claimants and provide other relief resolving a disability discrimination  lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced.  A federal district court judge in Chicago  entered a consent decree ending the litigation on Wednesday, June 20, 2012.  

The EEOC’s  lawsuit, which was filed Sept. 30, 2009, charged that United Road Towing had  failed to provide reasonable accommodations to a class of employees with  disabilities.   The complaint highlighted United Road Towing’s  inflexible medical leave policy and practice of terminating employees with  disabilities at the end of medical leaves rather bringing them back to work  with reasonable accommodation.  The  alleged discrimination took place in Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, Indianapolis,  Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

The EEOC alleged  that such conduct violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC  filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Case  No. 10-cv-6259) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement  through its conciliation process.

In addition to  providing monetary relief to the 13 claimants, the consent decree includes  injunctive relief. The decree prohibits the company from discriminating against  those with disabilities and requires the implementation of a reasonable  accommodations policy.  It also requires  training on the ADA for the company’s management.

The EEOC  lawsuit was preceded by an administrative investigation and efforts to  voluntarily resolve the matter through the agency’s statutory conciliation  process, both of which were managed by the Director of the EEOC’s Chicago  District, John Rowe.

“The purpose of the ADA is to allow persons  with disabilities to be productive members of the work force,” said Regional  Attorney John Hendrickson of the EEOC’s Chicago District Office.  “A company cannot thwart this purpose by  depriving disabled workers of the accom­modations they need to remain active  workers.”

Supervisory  Trial Attorney Diane Smason added, “We are pleased that United Road Towing resolved  this case.  The consent decree will  ensure that the company makes reasonable accommodations available to employees  with disabilities who need them.”

In addition to  Hendrickson and Smason, the EEOC was represented by Trial Attorneys Brandi  Davis, June Calhoun, and Laurie Elkin.   The  EEOC Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of  discrimination, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency  litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota,  with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

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