September 07, 2001
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit Wednesday against Target and Bath & Body Works in Bemidji for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
According to a press release from the Minneapolis office of the EEOC, Target allegedly transferred, denied a reasonable accommodation and demoted an employee after she disclosed that she has multiple sclerosis. The complaint also alleges that Target violated confidentiality provision of the ADA by disclosing the employee's disability to Bath & Body Works when that store made a reference check on her after she had applied for a management position at one of the company's stores.
In the complaint filed against Bath & Body Works, the EEOC alleges that the store failed to hire the woman when her disability was disclosed during the reference check with Target.
"The ADA requires that employees' health conditions be kept confidential, period," said Chester V. Bailey, director of the EEOC Milwaukee District Office, which covers Minnesota. "It also requires that employment decisions be based on an individualized assessment of a person's disability, not myths, fears or stereotypes."
Target and Bath & Body Works managers said Thursday that they were unaware of the suit.
In addition to enforcing Title I of the ADA, which prohibits employment discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments, the EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It also enforces the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
©The Pioneer 2001