Employer Failed to Grant Leave Extension for Employee With Stress-Anxiety Disorder And Fired Him Instead, Federal Agency Charges
DETROIT - A Detroit casino operator violated federal law by denying a reasonable accommodation to and then firing an employee because of his disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to EEOC's lawsuit, Michael Lepine was a pit manager in the table games department for Greektown Casino. In February 2012 he was hospitalized for his stress-anxiety disorder and requested a leave extension until April 30. The employer refused the extension and fired him on April 2.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of a disability. EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Greektown Casino, L.L.C., Case No. 2:16-cv-13540 ) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency seeks to recover monetary compensation for Lepine in the form of back pay and compensatory damages for emotional distress, as well as punitive damages.
"Mr. Lepine was an excellent employee, but according to EEOC's investigation the management chose to deny him a reasonable accommodation and fire him simply because of his condition," said EEOC Trial Attorney Dale Price. "EEOC will vigorously pursue such violations of the ADA."
The Indianapolis District Office of EEOC oversees Indiana, Michigan and parts of Kentucky and Ohio.
EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.
SOURCE: Press Release - EEOC - Sept. 4, 2016