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

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

SEATTLE – Today the U.S. Equal Employment chance Commission (EEOC) announced a triumph in just one of its very first impairment discrimination lawsuits taken up to trial concerning bipolar disorder. After 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 ongoing company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in addition to Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) whenever it fired a worker from the Walla Walla, Wash., store.

After hearing the proof delivered at trial in EEOC v. Cottonwood Financial, Ltd. 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 therefore the organization had in fact fired Reilly since it regarded him as too disabled to the office as a result of their manic depression.

The court additionally commended Reilly’s efforts to handle their impairment, achieve scholastic success and get a task. Reilly had been an honor pupil in senior school whom went to university in Portland, Ore. for a scholarship that is academic. Whilst in university, he had been clinically determined to have manic depression. Whenever their signs forced him to go out of college, he came back house to Walla Walla and discovered work at Cottonwood, which does company while the money Store.

Employed as an associate supervisor in June 2006, Reilly ended up being swiftly promoted to keep supervisor in October and received a prize for the popularity of their shop in November 2006. But, in belated January 2007, Reilly, via a wellness care representative, requested a brief leave to conform to brand brand brand new medicine recommended by significant hyperlink their physician to take care of their condition. Reilly alleged that the business denied this demand, forcing him to go back to function too quickly. The bucks Store fired Reilly in February 2007 – just times after their requirement for unwell leave first arose.

The ADA and WLAD outlaw firing a worker as a result of impairment and prohibit employment that is adverse inspired, even yet in component, by sick might toward a member of staff’s real or observed disability or request 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 money Store broke the legislation by firing Reilly and awarded him $6,500 in straight right straight right back wages and $50,000 for psychological discomfort and suffering. The court additionally issued a three-year injunction, needing the bucks shop to teach its supervisors and hr workers on anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation laws and regulations.

Following the last purchase ended up being established, Reilly stated, “It felt just as if many years of psychological harm had abruptly been healed. After my diagnosis, i must say i challenged myself to beat the odds and excel at the office. To possess my impairment outweigh my performance during my manager’s eyes was crushing.”

Reilly proceeded, “This situation ended up being never about cash or any type of payback — it had been constantly about doing the thing that is right assist protect the liberties of men and women with disabilities. I really hope this verdict allows other folks with bipolar disorder to own the same opportunity at acquiring and keeping effective and satisfying professions and also to avoid discrimination that is future. It will make me personally happy and proud to learn that justice prevailed in this instance.”

William Tamayo, the EEOC’s local lawyer in san francisco bay area, said, “The court delivered a essential message today that companies can not replace fiction for facts when coming up with work choices about disabled employees. companies performing on outdated urban myths and worries about disabilities need to find out that the EEOC will not shy far from using ADA situations to test to create them in to the twenty-first century.”

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

Reilly’s personal counsel Keller Allen included, “The court saw through the numerous and changing excuses provided by Cottonwood for firing Sean Reilly. This might be a well-deserved success for a hard-working person that declined to permit his impairment to be utilized to create a limitation on their achievements.”