Vacuum company sucks it up, agrees to settle bias suit

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Waconia-based Applied Vacuum Technologies (AVT) has settled a disability discrimination suit with the EEOC. A former employee had filed the complaint after the company terminated him.

The man had been hospitalized for a week, and maintained that AVT was aware of his hospitalization and condition. Upon attempting to return to work, the company terminated him for failing to call in sick each day.

The former employee alleged the company violated the ADA when it fired him because it regarded him as disabled when he was not.

When the two sides failed to resolve the complaint through the EEOC’s conciliation process, the commission filed suit on the man’s behalf. AVT elected to settle before going to court.

Under a five-year consent decree, AVT will pay the man $50,000. It also promised to make its workplace policies clear to employees and provide training. Within six months, AVT must prepare an employee handbook containing its workplace policies, which will include the policy on the consequences of not reporting into work daily.

The company must also train managers on workplace discrimination and harassment and on how to handle requests for a reasonable disability accommodations.

Advice: Make sure your employee handbook clearly explains your policies so employees understand exactly what is expected of them.

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