In a case that garnered nationwide attention, air transportation giant United Airlines Inc. (UAL) has agreed to pay more than $1 million and implement changes to settle a federal disability lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency has announced.
The EEOC’s lawsuit charged that United’s competitive transfer policy violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The law requires an employer to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship for the employer. By requiring workers with disabilities to compete for vacant positions for which they were qualified, and which they needed in order to continue working, the company’s practice frequently prevented employees with disabilities from continuing employment with United, the EEOC said.
The consent decree settling the suit requires United to pay $1,000,040 to a small class of former United employees with disabilities and to make changes nationally. United will revise its ADA reassignment policy, train employees with supervisory or human resource responsibilities regarding the policy changes, and provide reports to the EEOC regarding disabled employees who were denied a position as part of the ADA reassignment process.
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