NEWS FROM THE LEGAL COMMUNITY:
A man with autism who was fired from his San Diego hotel job three years ago will be paid $125,000 under a court settlement stemming from a lawsuit that alleged employment discrimination.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit in 2008 against hotel operator and developer Tarsadia Hotels, which was doing business as Comfort Suites, under both the American with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act.
The action was taken after the hotel issued several disciplinary reports to employee Linus Markle and ultimately fired him from his job as a front desk clerk at the Comfort Suites Mission Valley hotel.
Alleging that the dismissal was directly related to Markle’s autism, the EEOC lawsuit stated that the hotel denied Markle the right to have a free onsite job coach, permitted through the California Department of Rehabilitation.
Under the terms of the settlement, the hotel will be required to hire a consultant to help it implement and monitor its compliance with federal employment discrimination laws.
Among the settlement provisions is a requirement that all Tarsadia employees undergo training in the area of ADA rights and responsibilities, including the handling of disability-related requests and complaints.
“A reasonable accommodation is often minimal in cost and merely involves open communication between the employer and employee to make it work,” said Marla Stern, local director of the EEOC’s San Diego office. “The results can make all the difference for people with disabilities, allowing them to succeed in the workplace.”
In addition to the $125,000 to be paid to Markle, Tarsadia must make a donation of $7,500 to Partnerships With Industry, a San Diego-based nonprofit organization that provides employment support to people with disabilities.
“We are grateful that EEOC took a stand against disability discrimination, a serious problem which all too often plagues individuals with developmental disabilities,” said Mark Berger, president and chief executive of Partnerships with Industry. “We believe that individuals with disabilities can make productive workers as long as employers are willing to work with them through accommodations.”
Liberty Law Office represents individuals who are victims of employment violations, discrimination, harassment, wage and hour violations, civil rights violations, wrongful death, personal injury, medical malpractice, dangerous products, and defective drugs and devices. If you or someone you know needs representation, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.