Sears To Pay Saleswoman $150,000 To Settle Discrimination
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 10, 2006
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS--A former Sears lingerie saleswoman is to receive $150,000 in the settlement of a disability discrimination lawsuit that was filed more than nine years ago.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed the suit in June 1997, Judith Keane had asked for reasonable accommodations for her neuropathy, which made it painful for her to walk long distances. But Sears refused the requests, including allowing Keane to eat her lunch in the stock room at the River Oaks Mall where she worked, rather than walk to the mall's food court.
The EEOC alleged that this amounted to discrimination against Keane in violation of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.
The case had been dismissed twice in federal court, but the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reversed both rulings.
Under the consent degree that was signed Friday, Sears agreed to end disability-based discrimination; report claims of discrimination to the EEOC for the next 18 months; post a notice to inform employees of the decree; and train managers and supervisors regarding disability discrimination.
Sears did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement, an EEOC statement noted.