U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Supervisor Fired After 38 Years on the Job Because of Diabetes and Kidney Disease, Federal Agency Charges
DALLAS - DuPriest and Sons Holding, a Dallas silk-screening company, violated federal law by selecting a senior employee for layoff because of his diabetes and kidney disease, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
The EEOC charged in its suit, Case No. 3:11-CV-02525-G in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, that supervisor Alfred Garza, a very experienced worker, was chosen for separation soon after he informed the employer that he would need dialysis According to the EEOC, after Garza informed the employer about developments in his medical condition in May 2009, a member of management told him that the company could "no longer afford" him, despite the fact that his conditions were subject to control and treatment that would allow him to continue his work
"Mr. Garza was honest with management when he returned to work after a brief hospital stay, and he was shocked when just over two weeks later he was told to collect his things," said Toby Wosk Costas, supervisory trial attorney for the Dallas District Office "Alfred had viewed his employer like family after having devoted himself to the job for almost four decades."
Removing a qualified employee from the workplace because of a disability violates the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) The anti-discrimination law was amended by Congress, broadening its reach and protections for persons who are disabled, have a record of disability or are regarded as disabled, effective Jan. 1, 2009 The EEOC investigated the case and then filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The EEOC seeks injunctive relief, including the formulation of policies to prevent and correct disability discrimination The suit also seeks damages for Mr. Garza and punitive damages against DuPriest and Sons
"This printing company took its 'screening' business entirely too far when it decided to screen out a long-term and loyal employee simply because of an impaired bodily function," said Robert A. Canino, regional attorney for the EEOC's Dallas District Office "Thankfully, recent amendments to the ADA give us the law enforcement authority we need to promote change in these kinds of exclusionary attitudes."
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at http://www.eeoc.gov