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Woman suing employer for disability discrimination

Chobani brand yogurt is sold in supermarkets in California and around the company. The company producing the food has been the target of three lawsuits from employees alleging discrimination. In the most recent case, a woman has claimed that her request for workplace accommodations for her disability led to her dismissal. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has deemed her lawsuit worthy of advancing to trial.

Her legal complaint filed in federal court describes how the company immediately terminated her position after she asked for reasonable accommodations for her disability. She made this request in 2017 after trying to return from a medical leave. She had worked for the company as a case pack operator since 2013. The lawsuit accuses the yogurt company of intentionally ignoring her legal protection from disability discrimination. The lawsuit aims to collect a settlement for the woman that includes back pay, front pay, benefits, legal fees and punitive damages. In 2017, two other lawsuits were filed by former employees who said they lost their jobs because of their age. The company has not offered any public comments about the most recent case.

Disability discrimination is prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and employers are generally required to provide reasonable accommodations to affected employees as long as they would not present undue hardship to the company. A case review by an attorney could reveal whether a company took actions that could qualify as disability discrimination. Services provided by an attorney could include filing a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as a possible prelude to litigation against the company.

Source: Magic Valley, “Former Chobani employee sues company citing discrimination over disability“, Heather Kennison, March 2, 2018