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Posted On: August 2, 2009 by Peter M. LaSorsa

AVI Foodsystems Pays $90,000 to Settle ADA Lawsuit With EEOC

Food service giant AVI Foodsystems, Inc. ("AVI") pays $90,000 and offers jobs to discrimination victims to settle a class disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The lawsuit alleged AVI violated federal law by failing to allow employees with disabilities to return to work without a full-duty, no-restriction doctor’s release.

The EEOC asserted that this policy violated the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA"). The lawsuit alleged disabled employees who had been on leave and are able to return to work with some physical restrictions, but are still able to perform their jobs, should be allowed to do so. This policy adversely affected more than 80 AVI employees in several states, including Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

Laurie A. Young, regional attorney of the EEOC’s district office in Indianapolis said “Employers should be aware that the most recent amendments to the ADA became effective on January 1 of this year, and those amendments made substantial changes to the ADA as interpreted by the courts.”

According to company information, Warren, Ohio-based AVI, the largest independently owned and operated food service in the United States, maintains vending and dining services in commercial locations such as factories, universities, and health-care facilities.

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