SHOULD HAVE TAKEN STEPS ....
In a press release dated March 21, 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it had filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against Otis Elevator Company for failing to reasonably accommodate an employee’s disabilities (and retaliating against him).
Apparently, an assistant mechanic out in Canton, Massachusetts, was unable “to effectively process sounds and voices while on a crowded and noisy construction site” due to his autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). And, in the face of those challenges, he repeatedly requested, and was denied, a reasonable accommodation.
When the company later placed him on unpaid leave, purportedly due to a “foot injury,” he was not permitted to resume his duties despite multiple despite doctors’ notes clearing his return to work. That response, according to the agency, was purportedly in “retaliation” for the employee’s accommodation requests.
Alleging that such conduct is violative of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (EEOC v. Otis Worldwide Corporation d/b/a Otis Elevator Company, Civil Action No. 1:23-cv-10612), seeking back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages, together with an award of injunctive relief preventing future disability discrimination and retaliation.
In a written statement, Jeffrey Burstein, regional attorney for the EEOC’s New York District Office, noted, “The ADA requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees with qualified disabilities, and that includes autism spectrum disorder and ADHD …. In this case, an employee was left in the lurch for months, without pay, just because he requested an accommodation for his disabilities. The EEOC has stepped in to right this wrong.”
We bet Otis didn’t find that very elevating, at all.
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