Suppose an employee claims her organization illegally discriminated against someone on the basis of disability—and then the employee is fired. If the employee planned on suing, surely the employer would find out well in advance, because first the employee would have complained to the EEOC, right? Not necessarily.
Recent case: Vocational school employee Constance Bennett urged administrators to provide reasonable accommodations for a blind student. The school refused and dismissed the student from the program. When Bennett protested, she was fired.
Bennett went directly to federal court, bypassing the EEOC. The school complained, but the court said Bennett could sue directly without warning because the section of the ADA that covers discrimination against the disabled in training and education has no EEOC filing requirement. (Bennett v. Board of Education, No. 08-CV-663, SD OH, 2010)
- Protected activity can include protesting racial comment
- Make suggested ADA accommodation offer in writing
- Federal agencies now must pay for discrimination judgments
- Must you give employees Sundays off for 'TV church'?
- Independent investigations are key to making decisions stick and avoiding retaliation claims