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EEOC Sues Rancho San Miguel Market for Disability Discrimination

Local Supermarket Fires Employee Requesting Medical Leave, Federal Agency Charges

FRESNO - Local grocery outlet, PAQ, Inc., dba Rancho San Miguel Market, violated federal law when it fired a deli clerk after she requested an accommodation for a disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced in a lawsuit filed.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, on October 2016 a deli clerk provided Rancho San Miquel Market with a doctor's note requesting six weeks of medical leave for corrective surgery and time for recovery, based on a disability. Her request was denied, and she was fired.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the ADA Amendment Act of 2008 (ADAAA). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (EEOC v. PAQ, INC. dba Rancho San Miquel Market Case No. 1:18-cv-01335-AWI-EPG ) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC's suit seeks back pay along with compensatory and punitive damages for the claimant, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent and address discrimination.

"We continue to see employers struggling with complying with the ADA and failing to engage in the interactive process as required under federal law," said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District, which includes Fresno, Calif. in its jurisdiction.

Melissa Barrios, director for the EEOC's Fresno Local Office, said, "The act of firing an employee who requests an accommodation not only negatively affects that employee, but can create a chilling effect across the workforce. Other employees may not request an accommodation, as is their right by law, for fear of losing their jobs."

According to their website, www.ranchosanmiguelmarkets.com, PAQ, Inc. has provided local communities with the fresh quality foods.  PAQ, Inc. is locally owned and operated with stores throughout Central California. 

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.