EEOC: Call Center Failed To Accommodate Employee's Needs
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 8, 2004
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI--The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a discrimination suit against a multi-national billing, customer service, and personnel management firm for failing to accommodate the needs of a worker who uses a wheelchair.
The suit, filed Thursday in the EEOC's St. Louis office, claimed that Convergys Corporation illegally fired Ahmet Demerelli from his customer service representative job in 2002.
According to the EEOC, Demerelli was sometimes late for work because there was no accessible parking spot near the Hazelwood, Missouri contact center where he worked. Once at work, Demerelli had to roll his wheelchair through rows of work stations to find a vacant one where he could log into the time-keeping system.
The suit accused the Cincinnati-based firm of violating Title I of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act by refusing to assign Demerelli a parking spot closer to his workplace, along with his own work station and headset. Title I requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.
The EEOC wants Convergys to pay Demerelli for his lost wages since he was fired, along with paying compensatory and punitive damages. It also asks that Demerelli be given back his job.