Wednesday, August 26, 2009

EEOC sues Target Stores over disability discrimination

From the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal:

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued Target Stores Inc. for allegedly discriminating against a disabled California employee.

The EEOC filed the suit last week in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, Calif.

In the suit, the EEOC alleges that although Target hired Jeremy Schott in 2002 with full knowledge of his cerebral palsy and limited intellectual functioning, it didn’t provide Schott with reasonable accommodations for his disability.

Representatives for Minneapolis-based Target (NYSE: TGT) said the company does not tolerate or condone discrimination.

"We take numerous steps to accommodate our disabled team members and guests and we are confident in our policies and procedures around these accommodations," the company said in a statement. "We have thoroughly investigated the claims made by the EEOC and are convinced the actions we took remain consistent with our policies and the law."

According to the lawsuit, Schott is “substantially limited in the major life activities of speaking, walking, reading, writing and communicating with others and requires the assistance of a job coach.”

The EEOC alleges that between 2003 and 2006, Target did not comply with the requests of Schott’s job coaches and parents that they be informed of any in-person meetings and performance reviews in advance so they could assist him during those events. Schott also had his work hours reduced when he returned from an unpaid medical leave in May 2004.