Newly Hired Employee Was Fired After Disclosing Brain Tumor, Federal Agency Charged
SEATTLE, WA (STL.News) Prominent Pacific Northwest auto dealer Titus-Will has agreed to pay $125,000 and adopt anti-discrimination policies and training to resolve a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit filed last year, Titus-Will sales consultant Lucas Perry told management he needed to take a day off work to have an MRI examination. When asked about the results of his examination when he returned, he told his managers that he had a brain tumor. Titus-Will fired him immediately, according to the agency.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from discriminating based on disability or perceived disability. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Tacoma (EEOC v. Titus-Will Ford Sales, Inc. and Titus-Will Import Sales, Inc., Case No. 3:18-cv-05772-BHS) after an investigation by the EEOC and after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The three-year consent decree settling the lawsuit provides Perry with $125,000 in damages for emotional distress, back pay and calls for the implementation of anti-discrimination policies and training. Titus-Will agreed to adopt disability discrimination policies, train new hires and current employees, and provide in-depth training to management on disability discrimination. The consent decree requires Titus-Will to hire a consultant to assist with the development of policies, procedures, and training.
“I am thankful to the EEOC for taking up my case. I feel like I got justice and that the changes to the company will make it much less likely that this will happen to someone else,” said Perry.
EEOC Seattle Field Director Nancy Sienko said, “I applaud Titus Will’s commitment to policies and training that will help ensure compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.”
EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Teri Healy added, “The outcome here shows the importance of the EEOC’s mission to enforce the ADA. The provisions of the consent decree will go a long way to ensure that Titus-Will has an appropriate response to the perceived disabilities of its employees in the future.”
According to its website, https://www.tituswillford.com/, Titus-Will Ford is part of the Titus-Will Automotive Group, which operates eight dealerships up and down the I-5 corridor in Western Washington and has over 500 employees.