When people think about disabilities, they may picture an individual in a wheelchair or suffering from another disability that may be obvious to the naked eye. However, there are many disabilities, in the form of illnesses, that may not be so obvious but can still lead to problems in the workplace. For one woman, having an illness that fits the definition of a disability allegedly led to her termination and subsequent federal disability discrimination suit against her employer. Anyone in Colorado who may have an illness that interferes with the ability to work may want to follow the story of the woman and her suit against the drugstore chain Walgreens.
The employee suffered a hypoglycemic attack and needed to stabilize her blood sugar quickly. She reached for a bag of chips that were valued at $1.39. She ate the chips and was then questioned as to why she ate them before paying. She expressed the need for the chips to a security officer, citing her illness. She also indicated that she did not have time to pay for the chips first due to her medical issue.
The woman was fired for eating the chips without first paying for the snack. She had worked for Walgreens for 18 years and had no history of disciplinary action against her. She filed a suit based on disability discrimination and eventually received a settlement. Walgreens will pay the woman $180,000.
Any kind of illness or disability that may affect job duties or employment must be documented properly. When an employer knows there is a disability, there are procedures and requirements that must be legally met to accommodate the worker. In this case, the settlement between the woman and Walgreens may help her in dealing with the financial ramifications of losing her job. Anyone in Colorado who feels they have been the victim of disability discrimination may want to learn about their rights under the law.
Source: CBS San Francisco, “Walgreens To Pay $180K To Settle Disability Discrimination Suit Filed By South San Francisco Woman“, , July 2, 2014