Today, I bring you a first for the blog. A magic trick. Read along as the EEOC transforms a $1.69 bottle of OJ into $277,565.
I’ll let the EEOC explain it’s own magic:
A federal jury has found in favor of the EEOC in a federal disability discrimination lawsuit against the retail giant Dollar General…. EEOC had charged Dollar General with firing a cashier at its Maryville, Tenn., store because of her need to treat her diabetes.
According to EEOC’s suit, the cashier, an insulin-dependent diabetic, told her supervisor she was a diabetic and requested on several occasions that her supervisor allow her to keep juice near the register to prevent a hypoglycemic attack. At trial, the cashier testified that her supervisor told her that Dollar General did not allow employees to keep food or drink near the register. …
While alone in the store one day, the cashier drank orange juice prior to purchase, in violation of Dollar General’s “grazing” policy, in response to symptoms of a hypoglycemic attack and to protect the store. As soon as the medical emergency passed, the cashier paid for the bottle of orange juice that cost $1.69 plus tax. Later, the district manager and loss prevention manager appeared in the store to address inventory shrinkage and fired the cashier after she admitted to drinking orange juice prior to purchase. The store fired the employee even though it knew she drank the orange juice because of her diabetes and that she had requested to keep juice near the register. …
The jury returned a verdict … for EEOC and the victim, awarding the former cashier $27,565 in back pay and $250,000 in compensatory damages.
When an employee requests an accommodation that costs a grand total of $1.69, make the accommodation. Never mind that the employee’s manager was ignorant of the company’s accommodation policy that would have permitted the employee to keep a drink near her register.
Truthfully, there is no magic here, just a stunning failure of common sense, not to mention legal obligation.