School Failed to Provide Accommodation to Aide With Multiple Disabilities, Federal Agency Charges
HONOLULU - The Guam Department of Education will pay $80,000 and provide other relief to settle a charge of disability discrimination filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
The charge made to EEOC alleged that a school aide with multiple disabilities was denied an accommodation when the school assigned her to traffic duty against her doctor's restrictions. The charge further asserted that the denial of the accommodation resulted in the school aide becoming ill and being removed from the school in an ambulance. EEOC investigated the allegations and found reasonable cause to believe that the Guam Department of Education failed to provide her with a reasonable accommodation, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
Without admitting liability, the department agreed to enter into a three-year conciliation agreement with EEOC and the alleged victim, thereby avoiding litigation. Aside from the monetary relief, the department agreed to hire an outside equal employment opportunity consultant to conduct effective training for all managers and supervisors on the ADA and to revise its current policies to include a comprehensive reasonable accommodation policy. EEOC will monitor compliance with this agreement.
"People with disabilities have the right to a reasonable accommodation in the workplace," said Glory Gervacio Saure, director of EEOC's Honolulu Office, which includes Guam in its jurisdiction. "Under the ADA, an accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables someone with a disability to enjoy equal employment opportunities. I commend the Guam Department of Education for working with EEOC to resolve this complaint and for implementing measures intended to protect workers who require an accommodation for their disability."
One of the six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) is for the Commission to address emerging and developing issues in equal employment law, including issues involving the ADA.
EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.