FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — The Justice Department announced Nov. 8 that it reached an agreement with Lanier Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, to resolve its lawsuit alleging disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The department’s complaint alleged that the college terminated an employee with multiple sclerosis on the basis of her disability after years of service to the college. The complaint further alleged that, after the employee took three days of sick leave one summer, the college removed her from the teaching schedule for a full semester, reducing her hours and pay to zero, due to her multiple sclerosis.
Under the agreement, the college will revise its policies to ensure compliance with the ADA, implement new policies to ensure it does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its scheduling practices, train staff on the ADA, and file periodic reports with the Department of Justice on implementation of the agreement. The college will pay $53,000 in back pay and compensatory damages to the former employee. This matter was based on a referral from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Atlanta District Office, which completed the initial investigation of the facts.
“Individuals should not face unlawful barriers to employment because they have a chronic illness or other disability,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband said in a statement. “This agreement is another step toward eliminating discriminatory employment barriers for people with disabilities. We applaud Lanier Technical College for committing to change its policies and practices and compensating its former employee who was unlawfully terminated from her job.”
Nearly 30 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, cases like this demonstrate there is still work to be done to ensure that the hard-working people do not face disability discrimination, said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak for the Northern District of Georgia.
“It is of paramount importance that state institutions like Lanier Tech set the example in rooting out discriminatory policies and practices,” he said.