Posted On: July 10, 2009 by

EEOC Settles ADA Discrimination Lawsuit with Swissotel of Chicago for $90,000

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") settled a federal lawsuit with Swissotel for $90,000 thereby resolving a harassment and wrongful termination lawsuit.

The EEOC charged in its suit that Swissotel violated the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA") by permitting two supervisors at its downtown Chicago hotel to harass, then fire the employee because of his developmental disability. The employee was repeatedly called “retarded” by his supervisors.

In addition to paying $90,000, Swissotel is required under the consent decree settling the suit to give ADA training to all of its Chicago-based employees, post a notice of the settlement at its Chicago hotel, and report to the EEOC complaints of harassment or disability discrimination and any actions taken as a result of the complaints.

Disability-based harassment, just like other forms of discriminatory workplace harassment, is against federal law and is tolerated by employers at their peril,” said John Hendrickson, regional attorney in the EEOC’s Chicago District Office.

The lawsuit, entitled EEOC v. Swissotel Employment Services, L.L.C and Swissotel Chicago, Inc., No. 08-5131 (N.D. Ill.), was filed on September 9, 2008. The case was assigned to District Court Judge Dow and Magistrate Judge Nolan. The EEOC filed suit after an administrative investigation managed by EEOC Chicago District Director John Rowe found reasonable cause to believe that the ADA had been violated, and after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through the agency’s conciliation process.

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