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Employee with cerebral palsy agrees to settlement with Target

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Minneapolis-based retail giant Target will pay $160,000 to settle a disability discrimination suit at one of its California stores.

The EEOC filed the suit on behalf of Jeremy Schott, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Schott’s condition requires him to have a job coach to remind him to perform scheduled tasks and provide assistance during training and at meetings. Schott began as a stock clerk and later asked to be transferred to a cart attendant position. With the aid of a job coach, he performed well enough to be named “Target Hero of the Month” in 2003.

But things apparently changed dramatically after Schott took a leave of absence following a seizure he suffered in 2004. When he returned, Target cut his hours to as few as eight per week and didn’t always provide the job coach Schott needed.

Schott filed a complaint with the EEOC, alleging Target violated the ADA by reducing his hours and failing to accommodate him by providing a coach. The EEOC tried to mediate the dispute, but when those efforts failed, it filed suit in federal court. That’s when the parties successfully worked out a settlement.

The settlement includes a three-year consent decree requiring Target to designate an ADA coordinator in its corporate-level HR function and implement a companywide policy regarding requests for reasonable ­accommodations. The company also agreed to train executives and managers on how to handle requests for reasonable accommodations. Target will also submit ADA compliance ­reports to the EEOC.

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