American Apparel To Pay $60K For Violating Americans with Disabilities Act

Los Angeles-based clothing manufacturer and retailer American Apparel will pay $60,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by a garment worker who was fired after returning from medical leave to undergo chemotherapy treatment. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced the settlement and a three-year consent decree in a press release on December 19, 2011. In the lawsuit, the EEOC charged that the company violated federal law for failing to accommodate the employee based upon a disability, a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

American Apparel will pay the terminated garment worker $40,000, and also spend $20,000 to sponsor, “in conjunction with Los Angeles-based nonprofit organizations, two seminars on the rights of workers and responsibilities of employers under the ADA,” the agency said. As part of the consent decree, the company has also “adopted a comprehensive ADA policy,” the release said.

When it comes to disability discrimination at work, for an injury, disease or ailment to be considered a “disability” under law, it has to “substantially limit one or more major life activities.” Chemotherapy treatment clearly interferes with a person’s life, so the cancer treatment certainly qualifies for this type of employment discrimination lawsuit. Were you aware that being terminated while on leave for cancer treatment could be a violation of the ADA?

Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob – Los Angeles employment attorneys