Bank of America recently agreed to pay $110,000 to a former temporary worker and provide other equitable relief under a consent decree resolving a disability discrimination case brought by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC alleged that Bank of America failed to accommodate a visually impaired data entry worker and instead terminated his temporary assignment at one of the bank's branches in downtown Chicago after one day on the job.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. This can include making adjustments or modifications in the workplace that enable an employee with a disability to perform the essential functions of his job. For example, an employer may be required to provide screen magnifying software that would enable an employee with a visual impairment to perform essential computer work. Questions and answers about blindness, visual impairments and the ADA are available on the EEOC's website.
In addition to monetary relief for the former employee, the decree includes an injunction requiring that the bank provide reasonable accommodations to temporary and contingent workers at its branches throughout Illinois, provide training about the ADA's requirements, and imposes recordkeeping and reporting requirements for the duration of the decree.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.