EEOC Seal

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
8-29-11

Ford Motor Company Sued By EEOC For Disability Discrimination

Auto Giant Refused Disabled Employee’s Request to Telework And Fired Her Instead, Federal Agency Charges

DETROIT – Ford Motor  Company, Inc. has been sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for  failing to provide a reasonable accommodation to a disabled employee at its Dearborn, Mich.,  facility. Instead of accommodating her,  Ford retaliated against her by subjecting her to progressive discipline and  ultimately firing her, the EEOC charged in a lawsuit it filed on August 26,  2011.

The  lawsuit (EEOC v. Ford Motor Company, Inc., Case No. 2:11CV13742), filed in U.S.  District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, alleges that Ford violated  the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) when it refused to let Jane Harris  participate in its liberal telecommuting program as a reasonable accommodation  for her gastro-intestinal condition.  Instead, Ford began to criticize her performance, placed her on a  “performance enhancement plan,” and discharged her only months after she  complained about being denied an accommodation.

“Failing  to offer a reasonable accommodation to an employee and then discharging her  under these circumstances is a clear violation of the ADA,” said Nedra Campbell, trial attorney for  the EEOC. “Ford denied Ms. Harris’s  request without considering its legal obligations.”

The EEOC filed  suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its  conciliation process. The agency seeks  to recover monetary compensation for Harris, including back pay and  compensatory damages for emotional distress, as well as punitive damages.

With  more than 200,000, employees and operations worldwide, Ford currently ranks as  the second largest automaker in the United States.

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