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Lowe’s to Pay $55K for to Settle Charges of Discrimination at Texas Store
Lowe’s Home Centers LLC, a nationwide chain of home improvement and hardware stores, will pay $55,000 and provide other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of a manager at one of the company’s stores in Texas, federal officials announced.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that it filed a lawsuit alleging that Lowe’s had “failed or refused to accommodate a department manager” at a Lowe’s store in Cleburne, Texas.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the manager is disabled because of a spinal cord injury that substantially limits the use of his right arm. The employee was hired by Lowe’s as a customer service associate in 2006 and promoted to a department manager in 2008. The company was aware of his disability at the time he was selected for promotion, and he successfully worked as a department manager for six years. The employee’s disability prevented him from using power equipment that requires the use of two hands, but he delegated that task to associates under his supervision.
EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that in June 2015, Lowe’s notified the employee that he could no longer be provided with a reasonable accommodation, and demoted him to a non-supervisory associate position. As a result of the demotion, his hourly rate of pay was cut by more than $4 an hour.
The EEOC alleged in its suit that the company’s refusal to accommodate the department manager, a qualified individual with a disability, and subsequent decision to demote him to a lower-paying position violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC sued in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division (Civil Action No. 4:17-CV-02589-M) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The three-year consent decree settling the suit, signed by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Barbara Lynn, calls for Lowe’s to provide monetary relief to the employee, as well as to conduct training on the ADA for employees, managers and human resources personnel at the Cleburne Store.