Businesses applying policies that limit or restrict the availability of overtime for employees on light duty should review their practices in light of a settlement with United Airlines announced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last week.
On March 16, 2009, the EEOC announced United Airlines has agreed to pay $850,000 and make policy changes to settle a federal lawsuit brought by the EEOC that challenged that the company’s policy of denying overtime work to anyone on light duty violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). United will pay the $850,000 to a class of employees with disabilities denied the opportunity to work overtime while placed on light or limited duty. The EEOC charged that the policy had an impermissable disparate impact for employees with disabilities, since these workers were more likely to be assigned to light duty when medically cleared to work overtime. The settlement also requires United to notify all current and former employees at the San Francisco Airport who were subject to the rescinded policy and invite them to submit claims to share in the $850,000. Businesses with similar light duty policies or other workplace rules that disproportionately impact persons with disabilities or in other protected status hould review and update their policies in response to these and other potential challenges.
If your business that has questions about this development or needs assistance managing discrimination or other employment risks, contact Cynthia Marcotte Stamer at 469.767.8872 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To register for future updates or for other helpful information, see CynthiaStamer.com.