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ADA return-to-work case costs Sears $6.2 million settlement

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Firing,Human Resources

Retail giant Sears will pay $6.2 million to disabled workers it refused to accommodate. The EEOC sued Sears after uncovering more than 100 employees who claim the company refused to discuss accommodations before firing them.

Service technician John Bava originally filed a discrimination lawsuit after he unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate a reasonable accommodation following a work-related injury. Bava was out on workers’ comp when he broached the accommodation issue with Sears, but he was fired when his leave expired.

That’s when the EEOC got involved. Its investigation found dozens more workers whose experiences mirrored Bava’s. In fact, it appeared Sears “systemically” refused to rehire workers who were injured on the job or who needed accommodations following medical leave.

Hoffman Estates-based Sears admitted no wrongdoing, but said it settled to avoid prolonged, expensive litigation.

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