EEOC Wins Impairment Discrimination Suit Against Payday Lender ‘The Money Store’

Federal Court Awards $56,500 to worker Terminated for Bipolar Disorder

SEATTLE – Today the U.S. Equal Employment chance Commission (EEOC) announced a success in just one of its disability that is first discrimination taken fully to trial concerning bipolar disorder. Adhering to a bench that is four-day, 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 therefore the business had in fact fired Reilly since it regarded him as too disabled to function because of their manic depression.

The court additionally commended Reilly’s efforts to handle their impairment, attain scholastic success and obtain a work. Reilly ended up being an honor pupil in twelfth grade whom went to university in Portland, Ore. for a scholarship that is academic. Whilst in college, he had been clinically determined to have manic depression. Whenever their signs forced him to go out of college, he came back home to Walla Walla and discovered work at Cottonwood, which does company whilst the Cash Store.

Employed as an associate supervisor in June 2006, imp source Reilly had been swiftly promoted to keep supervisor in October and received a prize for the popularity of their shop in November 2006. But, in belated January 2007, Reilly, through a wellness care representative, requested a leave that is short conform to brand new medicine recommended by their physician to take care of their condition. Reilly alleged that the business denied this demand, forcing him to go back to focus too quickly. The money Store fired Reilly in 2007 – just days after his need for sick leave first arose february.

The ADA and WLAD outlaw firing a worker because of impairment and prohibit negative work decisions inspired, even yet in part, by sick might toward a member of staff’s genuine or observed 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 straight straight back wages and $50,000 for psychological pain and suffering. The court additionally issued a three-year injunction, requiring the bucks shop to coach its supervisors and hr workers on anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation regulations.

Following the final purchase had been established, Reilly stated, «It felt as though a long period of psychological harm had instantly been healed. After my diagnosis, i must say i challenged myself to beat the odds and do well in the office. To possess my impairment outweigh my performance within my company’s eyes had been crushing.»

Reilly proceeded, «This situation had been never about cash or any kind of payback — it absolutely was constantly about doing the right thing to assist protect the legal rights of men and women with disabilities. I really hope this verdict allows other folks with manic depression to own the same opportunity at getting and keeping effective and satisfying professions and also to avoid future discrimination. It generates me personally happy and proud to learn that justice prevailed in this situation.»

William Tamayo, the EEOC’s local lawyer in san francisco bay area, said, «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 fables and fears about disabilities need to find out that the EEOC will likely not shy far from using ADA situations to test to create them in 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 for investigating the way it is allegations.

Reilly’s personal counsel Keller Allen included, «The court saw through the numerous and changing excuses provided by Cottonwood for firing Sean Reilly. This can be a well-deserved success for the hard-working individual that declined to permit their impairment to be utilized to create a limitation on their achievements.»