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Harris Companies, formerly known as Diamond B & Harris Companies, has agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit, filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity commission (EEOC).

Angela Watson was dispatched by her union to work on a project for Diamond B as a pipefitter. (She also holds a certification as a rigger.) However, as the EEOC’s press release notes, “Watson disclosed to her direct supervisor that she has epilepsy, he and other Diamond B supervisors unilaterally concluded that she could not safely work at heights and terminated her employment.” However, Watson advised that her epilepsy was “well controlled by medication.”

The termination violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as the law “requires” employers to make a “case-by-case assessment” of a worker’s ability to perform the assigned duty when safety concerns are raised.

In addition to paying Watson $100,000 in damages, Harris Companies is also required to train its personnel on the anti-discrimination law.

“Epilepsy reportedly affects 2.2 million Americans and affects each person differently,” said EEOC Seattle Field Director Nancy Sienko. “It is critical that employers not base job decisions on stereotypes, but instead carefully consider each individual’s abilities.”

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To read the full report, please click here: https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/1-21-20a.cfm

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Should you be the victim of discrimination, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our Civil Rights Attorneys at 212-619-5400.