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April 15, 2014 • joedolson

A San Jose-based business has agreed to pay $100,000 to a former employee fired because of his vision impairment and to implement new policies and training to settle a federal disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC charged that Farhang Dahmubed was hired and then quickly fired as a senior bookkeeper at Riviera Consulting & Management Consulting, LLC within one month because of his retinitis pigmentosa, and without any interactive process to find a reasonable accommodation for newly created job duties related to driving.

“I’m so glad the Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center helped me file my charge with the EEOC,” said Dahmubed. “I hope my case will encourage other people with disabilities not to be afraid to stand up for their workplace rights.”

Terminating a qualified employee because of a disability violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through conciliation efforts, the EEOC filed this suit (13-CV-3079 LHK) in U.S. District Court for Northern District of California against Riviera as well as the associated companies Ali Baba Corporation and Oasis Care, Inc. Dahmubed intervened in the suit and was represented by the Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center.

According to the consent decree settling the suit ordered today by Judge Koh, the defendants agree to pay Dahmubed and his attorneys $100,000. In addition to the monetary relief, the companies agreed to contract with an independent equal employment opportunity consultant to revise their policies and procedures on disability discrimination and the evaluation of reasonable accommodation requests; provide anti-discrimination training to all employees; and provide periodic reports to the EEOC through the duration of the three-year decree.

“This settlement is a great result, because bringing on an independent EEO consultant increases the likelihood that positive changes will made to ensure that employees do not suffer disability discrimination and that employees can clearly request accommodations under the law,” said EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William R. Tamayo.

EEOC San Francisco District Director Michael Baldonado added, “Companies must take responsibility for ensuring that their employees are well-informed and able to make accommodation requests or discrimination complaints. We are confident that this decree will provide for that.”

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