EEOC Wins Impairment Discrimination Suit Against Payday Lender ‘The Bucks Store’

Federal Court Awards $56,500 to worker Terminated for manic depression

SEATTLE – Today the U.S. Equal Employment chance Commission (EEOC) announced a success in another of its very first impairment discrimination lawsuits taken fully to trial concerning bipolar disorder. Carrying out a bench that is four-day, a federal region court joined judgment for $56,500 against Irving, Tex.-based Cottonwood Financial. The court discovered that the business violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) whenever it fired a worker from its Walla Walla, Wash., shop.

After hearing the proof provided at trial in EEOC v. Cottonwood Financial, Ltd. (No. CV-09-5073-EFS, E. D. Wash.), U.S. District Judge Edward F. Shea noted “Cottonwood’s lacking ADA policies and techniques” and discovered that the business’s half-dozen various rationales for terminating shop manager Sean Reilly had been a pretext for discrimination and therefore the business had in fact fired Reilly as too disabled to work due to his bipolar disorder because it regarded him.

The court additionally commended Reilly’s efforts to deal with their impairment, achieve success that is academic get yourself a job. Reilly had been an honor pupil in twelfth grade whom went to university in Portland, Ore. for a educational scholarship. Whilst in university, he had been diagnosed with manic depression. Whenever their signs forced him to go out of school, he came back house to Walla Walla and discovered work at Cottonwood, which does company due to the fact Cash Store.

Employed as an associate supervisor in June 2006, Reilly ended up being swiftly promoted to keep supervisor in October and received a prize when it comes to success of their shop in November 2006. Nevertheless, in belated January 2007, Reilly, through a wellness care representative, requested a short leave to conform to brand brand brand new medicine recommended by their physician to take care of their condition. Reilly alleged that the business denied this demand, forcing him to go back to exert effort too early. The money Store fired Reilly in 2007 – just days after his need for sick leave first arose february.

The ADA and WLAD outlaw firing a worker as a result of impairment and prohibit employment that is adverse inspired, even yet in component, by sick will toward a worker’s genuine or recognized impairment or ask for an accommodation. The agency filed suit and was joined by Reilly, through his private counsel, Keller W. Allen of Spokane after first trying to reach a voluntary settlement with Cottonwood through the EEOC’s conciliation process.

Judge Shea unearthed that the money Store broke the statutory legislation by firing Reilly and awarded him $6,500 in right straight back wages and $50,000 for psychological discomfort and suffering. The court additionally issued an injunction that is three-year requiring the money shop to teach its supervisors and human resources workers on anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation rules.

After the order that is final established, Reilly stated, “It felt just as if a long period of psychological damage had instantly been healed. After my diagnosis, i must say i challenged myself to beat the odds and excel in the office. To possess my disability outweigh my performance in my own company’s eyes had been crushing.”

Reilly proceeded, “This situation had been never about cash or any type of payback — it absolutely was constantly about doing the thing that is right help protect the liberties of men and women with disabilities. I really hope this verdict allows others with manic depression to possess the same possibility at getting and maintaining effective and satisfying professions and also to avoid discrimination that is future. It generates me personally happy and proud to understand that justice prevailed in this full instance.”

William Tamayo, the EEOC’s local lawyer in bay area, stated, “The court delivered a crucial message today that companies can not replace fiction for facts when coming up with work choices about disabled employees. companies performing on outdated fables and worries about disabilities must know that the EEOC will not shy far from using ADA situations to test to create them to the twenty-first century.”

Tamayo respected EEOC Supervisory test Attorney John Stanley for easy payday loans in Newfoundland and Labrador overseeing the litigation, Senior Trial Attorneys Damien Lee and Jamal Whitehead for representing the EEOC at test, and Investigator Annalie Greer for investigating the actual situation allegations.

Reilly’s personal counsel Keller Allen included, “The court saw through the numerous and changing excuses provided by Cottonwood for firing Sean Reilly. This might be a well-deserved success for the hard-working person that declined to permit their impairment to be utilized to set a limitation on their achievements.”

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