After being hit with a disability discrimination lawsuit, American Airlines and Envoy Air, its largest regional carrier, have just agreed to settle the nationwide class action lawsuit. The airlines will pay $9.8 million in stock to hundreds of its employees who claimed they were victims of disability discrimination. If cashed out now, the stock would be worth over $14 million.
This disability discrimination lawsuit was filed through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a federal agency that advances opportunities in the workplace by enforcing federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination. After its investigation, the EEOC found that the airlines unlawfully denied reasonable accommodations to hundreds of employees nationwide that were returning from medical leave. The company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by enforcing a policy that an employee must have no physical restrictions before returning to work. The airlines would deny an employee from returning to work by refusing any kind of reasonable accommodations which the lawsuit alleged constitutes as disability discrimination.
In conjunction with the $9.8 million in stock, the settlement calls for the airlines to be monitored for two years against engaging in any future discrimination with the threat of sanctions. Additionally, the companies will be required to have company policy changes and mandatory periodic training to ensure reasonable accommodations are offered to persons with disabilities.
Unfortunately, even large established companies, like American Airlines, may be violating labor laws. Workers have rights and it is always a good idea to contact an employment lawyer to see what potential claims you may have under the law. Whether it is disability discrimination, owed wages, or a wrongful termination, please call Fitapelli & Schaffer, LLP for a free phone consultation. You can discuss your situation with one of our available attorneys. We can be reached at (212) 300-0375 or visit our website for additional information.