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In New York, every employee has the right to be free of discrimination in the workplace.
According to the New York Daily News, Starbucks is settling a disability discrimination lawsuit for $75,000 with an employee who was fired due to her dwarfism. In the discrimination lawsuit, the woman claimed that the company wrongfully terminated her because of her short stature.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also claimed that the employee was discriminated against because she is a dwarf.
In 2009, Elsa Sallard was training to work as a barista at a Starbucks located in El Paso, Texas. She asked to use a stool or a small stepladder in order to perform her job. However, Starbucks management “ignored” Sallard and refused to give her the stepladder. The manager then fired her on the same day she requested the accommodation. Starbucks claimed that she “could pose a danger to customers and employees,” reported the New York Daily News
In a news release on the discrimination lawsuit, officials from the EEOC said: “Starbucks flatly refused to discuss Ms. Sallard’s reasonable request. Instead, they assumed the worst and fired her.”
According to EEOC, Starbucks violated federal law by denying a reasonable accommodation to the employee. Because Starbucks failed to grant Sallard’s reasonable request, they had deprived her of the opportunity to successfully perform her job.
“Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are required to make ‘reasonable accommodations’ to qualified individuals with disabilities as long as this does not pose an undue hardship,” said David Perecman.
In addition to the settlement, Starbucks will provide training on disability issues to managers and supervisors at stores in El Paso.
Individuals who believe they have been victims of workplace discrimination in New York because of age, race, sex, religion, national origin or disability may be eligible to receive compensation for lost wages or any damages resulting from the discrimination, including emotional distress.
New York civil rights violation lawyers at The Perecman Firm have years of experience in the investigation, negotiation and litigation of discrimination claims in the workplace and elsewhere. An experienced New York workplace discrimination lawyer understands how to present a winning case.