Butterball, the Garner-based turkey processor, faces EEOC disability discrimination charges after it allegedly tolerated harassment against an HIV-positive employee and then fired her after she complained.
Tracy Montgomery says she endured almost daily harassment from three co-workers. She claims they constantly told her that they did not want to work with her or touch her.
According to Montgomery’s EEOC complaint, she told her boss about the harassment.
The supervisor convened a meeting designed to resolve the problem, which Montgomery and one of the co-workers attended. But one day later, Montgomery was fired.
She quickly filed a complaint with the EEOC, alleging Butterball violated the ADA by permitting the ongoing harassment and then terminating her after she complained. The EEOC tried to resolve the dispute through its conciliation process. When those efforts failed, it filed a lawsuit on Montgomery’s behalf.
Advice: The law views disability harassment the same way it views sexual harassment. Employers should, too.
Quickly and professionally investigate all charges of disability harassment. A little extra effort can go a long way in such cases—consider training supervisors and employees about disability harassment.
- 'Secret' consensual love affair with supervisor doesn't mean automatic employer liability
- Can you be liable for revoking a job offer?
- Back anti-harassment policy with robust training, enforcement
- Check the validity of reasons behind a supervisor's call for firing
- When deciding on employee discipline, you don't have to be absolutely right--just fair