The national retail chain Dillard's Inc. will be paying a whopping $2 million and will commit to extensive changes companywide to settle a class action disability discrimination lawsuit. The disability discrimination lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and addressed the company's policy that required all employees to reveal confidential and personal information to get approval for sick leave.
The settlement has also resolved the claims regarding the company terminating its employees for availing sick leave beyond the prescribed limits as laid down by the company. This action of the company was considered a violation of the American Disabilities Act (ADA).
The lawsuit was filed in 2008 by the EEOC. The lawsuit claimed that a majority of employees felt uncomfortable sharing their confidential medical information with the company. Many times the employees were advised by their doctors not to disclose their medical condition. However, the company followed a policy of terminating the employees who refused to share this information.
According to the court order, Dillard's will pay $2 million to its employees who have been victims of the company's unfair policy. As per the sources, the retail chain has also agreed to hire a consultant who will review and revise the policies of the company. The consultant will also help the company create a way to track complaints filed by employees involving disability discrimination.
Termination of an employee on the grounds that the employee is not willing to share confidential medical information is unfair. At times, people do not feel comfortable sharing their medical condition with their employers or fellow colleagues. Any organization which follows a policy that forces employees to disclose confidential medical information may be guilty of employment discrimination.
Source: HR.BLR.com, "Dillard's racks up hefty charge for discrimination," Dec. 31, 2012