Company Terminated Regional Manager Because of His Disability, Federal Agency Charged
MIAMI - IDEX Corporation, a manufacturer and supplier of fluidics systems with locations nationwide, including multiple posts in Florida, violated federal anti-discrimination law when it terminated a regional manager based on his disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed on July 27, 2015. The EEOC's lawsuit coincides with the ADA's 25th anniversary on July 22, 2015.
According to EEOC's lawsuit, Gregorio Reyes successfully performed his regional manager position at IDEX Corporation, including during the six months in 2011 when he underwent chemotherapy to treat the cancer with which he was diagnosed the year before. During the period of his treatment, however, Reyes's supervisors repeatedly asked invasive questions about his illness and questioned his ability to perform job tasks. On Dec. 8, 2011, IDEX fired Reyes because of his disability, EEOC says.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits disability discrimination. EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Civil Action No. : 2:15-cv-00419-JES-CM), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency seeks injunctive relief to prevent any further discriminatory practices, as well as back pay and compensatory and punitive damages.
"EEOC is fully committed to fighting all kinds of discrimination based on disabilities, including cancer," said Ozzie Black, acting director of EEOC's Miami District Office.
Robert Weisberg, regional attorney for EEOC's Miami Office, added, "A longtime employee who continues to successfully perform his or her job responsibilities should not be fired because he has been diagnosed with a medical condition such as cancer. The ADA prohibits such conduct, and EEOC takes seriously its responsibility to enforce the law."
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. The Miami District Office's jurisdiction includes Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.