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Pactiv to Pay $1.7 Million in EEOC Disability Discrimination Class Settlement

November 11, 2015

Pactiv LLC, an Illinois-based provider of advanced packaging solutions to customers around the world, will pay $1,700,000 to conciliate a disability discrimination charge filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The agreement stems from an EEOC investigation which found reasonable cause to believe that Pactiv discriminated against individuals with disabilities by disciplining and discharging them according to its nationwide policies to issue attendance points for medical-related absences; not allowing intermittent leave as a reasonable accommodation; and not allowing leave or an extension of leave as a reasonable accommodation.

This alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. Pactiv agreed to conciliate the matter with EEOC and a class of individuals, including the individual who filed a charge, rather than pursue the matter through litigation.

The settlement provides financial relief to those who have already been discriminated against, and also ensures the company will take measures to prevent discrimination from occurring in the future. According to the agreement, Pactiv will:

  1. conduct ADA training at each of its locations nationwide;
  2. revise and distribute its ADA policy and procedures, including those related to providing reasonable accommodations to employees; and
  3. revise and distribute nationwide its new attendance policy that will not assess points for disability-related absences.

The company will also provide periodic reporting to EEOC on all accommo­dation requests from employees and on all employees separated or assessed attendance points, and post an internal notification to its employees nationwide of this conciliation.

Disability discrimination is defined as treating individuals differently in regards to employment because of their disability, perceived disability, or association with an individual with a disability. The following are common examples of disability discrimination in the workplace:  

  • Harassing an employee because of his or her disability.
  • Maintaining a workplace that includes substantial physical barriers to the movement of people with physical disabilities.
  • Asking job applicants questions about their past or current medical conditions, or requiring job applicants to take medical exams.
  • Failing to reasonably accommodate employees with physical or mental disabilities that would allow them to work.

If any of these things has happened to you on the job, you may be the victim of disability discrimination. If you have a disability, there are federal and state laws that protect you from job discrimination, harassment, as well as retaliation on the basis of your disability. If you have suffered discrimination in the workplace, a Florida Discrimination Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you understand your rights. Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.