A federal jury has ruled in favor of a 25-year-old mentally disabled man who was discriminated against by his employer in Texas. According to a lawsuit filed against the Kroger chain of grocery stores, the mentally challenged former employee worked at one of the company’s stores without incident for four years before he was transferred to a grocery store in Plano. The man claims a store manager began verbally abusing him and calling him names about one-week after the transfer. The 25-year-old also alleges that he was regularly asked to perform duties by himself that normally required at least two people. Approximately one year after he was transferred, the disabled man filed a discrimination and harassment lawsuit against the company. The young man also claims he was fired as a direct result of filing the legal complaint.
After four days of testimony regarding the alleged harassment endured by the mentally challenged 25-year-old, a jury issued an award of $450,000 in damages. His father stated he was happy with the verdict because it sends a message to employers that discrimination against the disabled will not be tolerated. A representative for Dallas-based Kroger said the company is currently considering whether to appeal the jury’s verdict.
Unfortunately, not all disability discrimination is immediately so obvious. Sadly, many employers in New Jersey and elsewhere choose to unlawfully discriminate against or harass workers who suffer from a disability due to biased thinking. Disabled persons in New York and New Jersey have a right to expect that their employers will provide them with reasonable accommodations that allow them to perform their essential job duties. If a disability does not physically prevent a worker from performing his or her job requirements, an employer has no legal basis on which to discriminate. If your request for reasonable accommodations at work due to a disability was denied, your rights may have been violated.
Workers in New York and New Jersey are protected from discrimination no matter the severity of their disability. In addition to more severe limitations such as blindness or paralysis, depression, anxiety, and learning disabilities like those exhibited by the worker in this case are protected as well. If you feel that you were the victim of discrimination or harassment at work as a result of your disability, you are advised to speak with an experienced employment law attorney.
Do not hesitate to call the Resnick Law Group, P.C. at 973-781-1204 or (646) 867-7997 if you believe you were unlawfully discriminated against at a New York or New Jersey workplace. The caring employment lawyers at the Resnick Law Group represent current and former workers in both New Jersey and New York regarding matters that involve disability discrimination and harassment. To discuss your situation with a hardworking advocate, please contact the Resnick Law Group through our website today.
More Blog Posts:
Arbitrator Recommends $4.5 Million Award for Sexual Harassment of Former Long Branch School District Worker, The New Jersey Employment Law Firm Blog, September 19, 2013
High Profile Lawsuit Demonstrates Why New Jersey Employers Should Always Protect Workers From Unlawful Sex Harassment, The New Jersey Employment Law Firm Blog, September 19, 2013
Mentally-challenged employee wins $450,000 discrimination suit, by Steve Stoler, wfaa.com
Photo credit: clarita, morgueFile