In California and across the country, the question of what constitutes a reasonable accommodation has been debated between workers and employers for years. It is true that accommodating workers who have disabilities or medical conditions can be costly to employers. However, by not attempting to provide alternatives for such protected employees, a business owner or manager may face a disability discrimination lawsuit. One woman who lives in another state is now seeking recompense after a well-known company refused to accommodate her.
This is not the first time the Greek yogurt maker Chobani has been accused of discrimination. Two different lawsuits filed in 2017 accused the company of terminating workers because of their age. The most recent lawsuit claims that the company intentionally disregarded an employee with federally protected rights based upon a disability. While the media does not disclose the exact nature of the employee's disability, reports state that her difficulties prevent her from performing at least one major life activity.
The woman requested accommodations for her job, which involved elements of the production and packaging of yogurt, but Chobani management refused her requests. After working at Chobani for three years, she took a leave of absence because the company would not accommodate her disability. A year later, she asked to return to work and renewed her request for accommodations. The company fired her.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission authorized the woman to proceed with a lawsuit against the company. Like anyone in California, this woman has the right to fair treatment, despite any disabilities. To determine if they have a case of disability discrimination, employees may contact an attorney who can guide them in taking the appropriate steps to seek justice when they have been wronged.
Source: magicvalley.com, "Former Chobani employee sues company citing discrimination over disability", Heather Kennison, March 2, 2018