The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced on Tuesday that it has entered into a three-year consent decree with Colorado Excavating as part of a disability-related lawsuit.
The Colorado Springs-based company allegedly fired an office assistant four days after she suffered a seizure, without discussing potential accommodations.
"We are pleased that Colorado Excavating was able to reach an agreement with the EEOC that will enable us to further Congress's intention that persons with disabilities have equal opportunity to achieve success,” said Amy Burkholder, the commission’s Denver field office director. “Businesses, large and small, have a legal obligation under the ADA to provide a workplace free from disability discrimination,” she added, referring to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Colorado Excavating is to pay $42,000 in back wages and compensatory damages, as well as provide annual training to all employees. Specifically, the first training will include a component from the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado.
The EEOC reported that the unemployment rate for those with epilepsy is two to three times higher than the rate for the general population. The commission enforces federal laws against workplace discrimination due to a person’s race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or genetic information.