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Posted On: November 29, 2010 by Peter M. LaSorsa

ESI Settles Disability Discrimination Lawsuit For $95,000

ESI LA Corporation pays $95,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). According to details of the lawsuit a former truck driver, Ronald Harper, alleged IES violated the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA") when it fired Harper because of his disability, dyslexia, even though Harper was able to perform the essential functions of his job. Specifically on the morning of August 12, 2005, Harper told his new supervisor that he is dyslexic. Approximately four hours later, the supervisor fired Harper, stating that he did not want to take the chance of Harper’s dyslexia causing him to see things “swirly” and have an accident.

After contending for five years that Harper did not have a disability and that he was not fired because of a disability, IES admitted shortly before the scheduled trial date that Harper does have a disability within the meaning of the ADA, that he was at all relevant times qualified to do his job, and that IESI did dismiss him because of his disability and in violation of federal law. It is hard to believe that IES took that long to admit what they did.

EEOC attorney Gregory Juge said, “This is a classic case of an employer firing a worker with a disability because of its own misconceptions. Employees with disabilities such as dyslexia are every bit as protected under the ADA as those with more obvious, visible impairments such as blindness or being in a wheelchair.”

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