Most employers in Florida and throughout the country are required to make reasonable accommodations for disabled employees. Walmart recently agreed to pay $80,000 and make other changes to its policies to settle a discrimination suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC. The lawsuit claimed that it failed to reassign a worker to a position at another store after she became disabled. Prior to her disability, she worked as a sales associate in Augusta, Maine.
Florida advocates for disabled people have reason to be encouraged after a jury sided with a disabled man who sued Walmart for terminating his employment because of his disabilities. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a suit against the company on his behalf for violating the Americans With Disabilities Act. The trial lasted three days and concluded with a jury award that ordered the employer to pay the man $200,000 in compensatory damages plus $5 million in punitive damages.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 makes it illegal for most employers to discriminate against qualified workers who are disabled. Furthermore, it is also illegal for employers to retaliate against a person for taking action to defend their rights under the ADA. Individuals who work for private employers with 15 or more employees can file disability discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Those who work for a government organization can file a complaint with the Department of Justice.
Workers in Florida who experience mental health issues may be entitled to reasonable accommodations at work. For instance, those who go to therapy may be allowed to adjust their schedules around their appointments. Employees could also be allowed to work in an office that is located away from other workers or customers. In some cases, an individual with a mental health issue may be allowed to work from home.
Florida fans of the TV show "The Simpsons" might be interested in learning that Alf Clausen, the show's former longtime composer, has filed a lawsuit against Twentieth Century Fox, Disney and Gracie Films, alleging age and disability discrimination. He was fired from the series in 2017.
Employers in Florida must make reasonable accommodations for individuals who have conditions that are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. In some cases, this means that the employer must allow the employee to telecommute. The ADA applies to private employers who have at least 15 employees and to all public employers. Telecommuting may qualify as a reasonable accommodation for employees who meet minimum job requirements and who are disabled under the definitions of the ADA. The accommodation must not constitute an undue burden to the employer.
Roughly 30% of all employees who have a college education have a disability according to the Center for Talent Innovation. However, only 3.2% of workers actually identify themselves as disabled according to a study from the National Organization on Disability. Many Florida workers who are disabled have what is referred to as an invisible disability. This means that an individual looks healthy but could actually be experiencing a migraine or some other ailment.
When it comes to lawsuits related to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the concern among many employers in Florida has long been that any condition could become the basis of an ADA claim. However, two recent court decisions show that fear isn't grounded in reality.
Disabled Florida residents in the workforce who believe that they have been a victim of employment discrimination may have legal recourse under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The ADA is federal law that prohibits local and state governments, private employers, labor organizations, employment agencies and labor management committees from engaging in employment discrimination against qualified individuals. The employment practices covered by the ADA include hiring, training, recruiting, making job assignments, firing, giving benefits and any other activities pertaining to employment.
Roughly one in every five adults in Florida and the rest of the United States experiences some form of mental illness in any given year. This is according to information from the National Alliance on Mental Health.