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Posted On: January 8, 2010 by

Saks Fifth Avenue Pays $170,000 To Settle ADA Lawsuit

Saks Fifth Avenue will pay $170,000 to settle an Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Oppor­tunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of former Saks makeup artist, Marlene Babin. Babin claimed she was fired because of ulcerative colitis which she claims was a disability. Babin underwent five major surgeries in connection with her colitis and was forced to spend three months in the hospital.

The final straw in the case came when Babin applied for an open makeup artist position at the store’s La Mer counter. Babin interviewed for the La Mer position and remarkabley on that same day, Saks sent Babin a letter stating that it did not have any positions appropriate for her background, even though Babin had more than 20-years of experience as a makeup artist. Saks eventually hired a make-up artist with no experience. Saks later admitted that Babin had been very qualified for the La Mer position. That statement proved damning to Saks position and they decided to settle.

Babin said “I was devastated when Saks fired me and then refused to hire me back. I loved my job and took a lot of pride and joy from working with people. The court’s decision in refusing to throw my case out means a great deal to me. I am grateful that I had the oppor­tunity to have my story heard. I feel that by this settlement, justice was served.”

Discrimination lawsuits seem to be on the rise in Illinois. Employers seem to be taking the tight job market as a reason to infringe on the rights of workers. There are state and federal agencies that are in place to protect the rights of employee. I can help you navigate these agencies.

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