EEOC Wins Impairment Discrimination Suit Against Payday Lender ‘The Bucks Store’

Federal Court Awards $56,500 to Employee Terminated for manic depression

SEATTLE – Today the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a success in another of its disability that is first discrimination taken fully to trial concerning bipolar disorder. Following a four-day workbench test, a federal region court joined judgment for $56,500 against Irving, Tex.-based Cottonwood Financial. The court discovered that the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) together with Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) whenever it fired a worker from the Walla Walla, Wash., store.

After hearing the proof presented at trial in EEOC v. Cottonwood Financial, Ltd. (No. CV-09-5073-EFS, E. D. Wash.), U.S. District Judge Edward F. Shea noted “Cottonwood's lacking ADA policies and techniques” and discovered that the business's half-dozen various rationales for terminating shop manager Sean Reilly had been a pretext for discrimination and that the business had in fact fired Reilly since it regarded him as too disabled to get results because of their manic depression.

The court additionally commended Reilly's efforts to handle their impairment, attain educational success and obtain a task. Reilly ended up being an honor pupil in twelfth grade who went to university in Portland, Ore. on a scholarship that is academic. Whilst in college, he had been clinically determined to have manic depression. Whenever his signs forced him to go out of college, he returned house to Walla Walla and discovered work at Cottonwood, which does business whilst the Cash Store.

Employed as an associate manager in June 2006, Reilly had been swiftly promoted to keep supervisor in October and received a honor when it comes to success of his shop in November 2006. But, in belated January 2007, Reilly, by way of a wellness care representative, requested a leave that is short conform to brand brand new medication recommended by his physician to take care of his condition. Reilly alleged that the business denied this demand, forcing him to come back to focus too quickly. The money Store fired Reilly in February 2007 – just days after their importance of sick leave first arose.

The ADA and WLAD outlaw firing a worker as a result of disability and prohibit employment that is adverse inspired, even yet in component, by sick will toward a member of staff's real or perceived impairment or ask for an accommodation. The agency filed suit and was joined by Reilly, through his private counsel, Keller W. Allen of Spokane after first trying to reach a voluntary settlement with Cottonwood through the EEOC's conciliation process.

Judge Shea discovered that the bucks Store broke the statutory law by firing Reilly and awarded him $6,500 in straight back wages and $50,000 for psychological pain and suffering. The court also issued an injunction that is three-year needing The Cash shop to teach its supervisors and hr workers on anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation rules.

Following the order that is final established, Reilly stated, “It felt as though a long period of psychological damage had instantly been healed. After my diagnosis, i must say i challenged myself to beat the odds and excel at your workplace. To possess my disability outweigh my performance in my own manager's eyes was crushing.”

Reilly proceeded, “This situation had been never about cash or any type of payback — it had been constantly about doing the right thing to assist protect the legal rights of individuals with disabilities. I am hoping this verdict allows other folks with manic depression to own the same opportunity at getting and maintaining effective and satisfying jobs and also to avoid discrimination that is future. It creates me personally happy and proud to understand that justice prevailed in this instance.”

William Tamayo, the EEOC's local lawyer in bay area, said, “The court sent a important message today that companies can't replace fiction for facts when coming up with employment choices about disabled workers.

Companies functioning on outdated urban myths and worries about disabilities need to find out that the EEOC will likely not shy away from using ADA situations to trial to bring them to the twenty-first century.”

Tamayo recognized EEOC Supervisory Trial Attorney John Stanley for overseeing the litigation, Senior Trial Attorneys Damien Lee and Jamal Whitehead for representing the EEOC at trial, and Investigator Annalie Greer for investigating the scenario allegations.

Reilly's personal counsel Keller Allen included, “The court saw through the numerous and changing excuses offered by Cottonwood for firing Sean Reilly. This can be a well-deserved triumph for the hard-working person that declined allowing their disability to be utilized to set a limitation on their achievements.”

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