BMO Harris Bank has agreed to pay $400,000 to 14 former employees to settle an EEOC disability discrimination lawsuit.
According to the EEOC, BMO Harris Bank failed to provide reasonable accomodations to its disabled employees and unlawfully fired several disabled employees when their medical leaves of absense ended.
The EEOC claims that the bank should have allowed these employees to return to their positions or to move to different positions at the bank.
The complaint mentions a senior administrative assistant who was fired after she took a medical leave of absense when she was diagnosed with colon cancer.
An employee in the customer service department was also fired after she took a medical leave of absense in 2006 because of anxiety disorder, depression, and Bell’s palsy.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits disability discrimination and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations-including additional leave and transfers to a different job where appropriate-unless doing so would cause undue hardship.
EEOC attorney John Hendrickson said, “We at the EEOC are encouraged that the decree just entered reflects that development. More generally, this decree reflects what employers and the EEOC can accomplish with respect to ADA compliance when there is a willingness to sit down and talk. There are no losers here, and the public interest has been well served.”