KMART WILL PAY $102,048 TO SETTLE DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT
Kmart Corporation will pay $102,048 and provide significant equitable relief to settle a federal disability
discrimination lawsuit, the EEOC announced.
According to the lawsuit, after Kmart offered applicant a job, applicant advised the hiring manager that he could not provide a urine sample for the company’s mandatory pre-employment drug screening due to his kidney disease and dialysis. Applicant requested a reasonable accommodation such as a blood test, hair test, or other drug test that did not require a urine sample. Kmart refused to provide that alternative test and denied applicant employment because of his disability. (EEOC v. Kmart Corporation; Sears Holdings Management Corporation, Civil Action No. 13-cv-02576) in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.) Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation, including during the application and hiring process, unless it can show it would be an undue hardship. The ADA also prohibits employers from refusing to hire individuals because of their disability.
In addition to providing $102,048 in monetary relief to applicant the lawsuit provides substantial equitable relief, including enjoining Kmart from taking adverse employment actions on the basis of disability and failing to provide a reasonable accommodation. Kmart is also revising its drug testing policies and forms to specify the availability of reasonable accommodation for applicants or employees in the company’s drug testing processes. The decree also requires Kmart to provide training on the equal employment opportunity laws enforced by the EEOC, and on Kmart’s ADA policy and the provision of reasonable accommodation, including as it relates to the company’s drug testing processes. This training is required for all store managers, store assistant managers and human resources leads in the district where the alleged discrimination occurred.