Last month, the EEOC filed its first lawsuit against an employer due to its alleged failure to reasonably accommodate an employee’s request related to COVID-19. The EEOC alleges that an employer unlawfully denied an employee’s request to work from home two days per week and ultimately terminated her employment.
Ronisha Moncrief (“Moncrief”), who has chronic obstructive lung disease and hypertension, worked at a manufacturing facility owned by ISS Facility Services, Inc. (“ISS”). Beginning in March 2020, ISS required all of its employees to work remotely four days per week because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in June 2020, ISS required all of its employees to return to work at its facility five days per week. Moncrief requested that she be allowed to continue working from home two days per week. Despite allowing other employees in Moncrief’s position to work from home, ISS denied Moncrief’s request. Thereafter, two months later, ISS terminated Moncrief’s employment due to alleged “performance issues.”
The EEOC is seeking back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief.
If your employee has a disability covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act and requests a reasonable accommodation, you should engage in the ADA-required “interactive process” to help identify potential reasonable accommodations that would enable the employee to perform the essential functions of his or her position.
If you have questions about accommodations required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact the GS attorney with whom you usually work, or you can reach out directly to Tyler Peacock or Nicole Gardner.