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 disability that is first discrimination taken up to trial concerning bipolar disorder. Adhering to 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 business violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) whenever it fired a member of staff from the Walla Walla, Wash., shop.

After hearing the proof provided 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 as too disabled to work due to his bipolar disorder because it regarded him.

The court additionally commended Reilly’s efforts to handle their impairment, attain educational success and get yourself a task. Reilly ended up being an honor pupil in senior high school whom went to university in Portland, Ore. for a educational scholarship. Whilst in university, he had been identified as having 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 because the money Store.

Employed as an associate supervisor in June 2006, Reilly had been swiftly promoted to keep supervisor in October and received a prize for the popularity of their shop in November 2006. Nonetheless, in belated January 2007, Reilly, via a wellness care representative, requested a leave that is short conform to brand brand brand new medicine prescribed by their medical practitioner to take care of their condition. Reilly alleged that the organization denied this demand, forcing him to come back to the office too quickly. The bucks Store fired Reilly in February 2007 – just times after their importance of 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 worker’s genuine or sensed 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 unearthed that the bucks Store broke the legislation by firing Reilly and awarded him $6,500 in right right right right back wages and $50,000 for psychological discomfort and suffering. The court additionally issued a three-year injunction, needing the money shop to coach its supervisors and hr workers on anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation regulations.

Following the order that is final established, Reilly stated, “It felt just as if many years of psychological harm had instantly been healed. After my diagnosis, i truly challenged myself to conquer the odds and excel in the office. To possess my impairment outweigh my performance within my company’s eyes had been crushing.”

Reilly proceeded, “This instance had been never ever about cash or any type of payback — it had been constantly about doing the right thing to assist protect the liberties of individuals with disabilities. I am hoping this verdict allows other folks with manic depression to possess the same possibility at getting and keeping effective and satisfying professions and also to avoid discrimination that is future. It generates me personally happy and proud to learn that justice prevailed in this full situation.”

William Tamayo, the EEOC’s local lawyer in bay area, stated, “The court delivered a crucial message today that companies can not replace fiction for facts when creating work choices about disabled employees. companies functioning on outdated urban myths and worries about disabilities need to find out that the EEOC will likely not shy far from using ADA situations to test to create them 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 click to find out more for investigating the way it is allegations.

Reilly’s private counsel Keller Allen included, “The court saw through the numerous and excuses that are changing by Cottonwood for firing Sean Reilly. This really is a well-deserved triumph for the hard-working individual that declined to permit their impairment to be utilized to create a limitation on their achievements.”