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This is not legal advice, which can only be given by an attorney admitted to practice law in your jurisdiction after hearing all of the facts and circumstances in a particular case.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

America's Largest Drug Store Chain to Pay $180,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Employers have a right to fire you for any reason or no reason, and to be a jerk about it. But they also need to be careful about being jerky. Drugstore giant Walgreens has agreed to pay $180,000 to a longtime employee with diabetes and to implement revised 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's lawsuit charged that former cashier Josefina Hernandez, who has Type II Diabetes, was fired by a South San Francisco Walgreens because of her disability after she ate a $1.39 bag of chips during a hypoglycemic attack in order to stabilize her blood sugar level. Hernandez had worked for Walgreen for almost 18 years with no disciplinary record, and Walgreens knew of her diabetes. Yet the company security officer testified that he did not understand nor did he seek clarification when Hernandez wrote, "My sugar low. Not have time," in reply to his request for an explanation of why she took the chips before paying.

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