Two German-Based Coffee Companies Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit for Firing Bipolar Mechanic
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that two German-based coffee grinding and roasting companies will pay a former employee with bipolar disorder $100,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit.
The EEOC filed the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit against Probat, Inc. and Probat Burns, Inc., doing business as Bauermeister, Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee.
According to the EEOC suit, the former mechanic was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and given medication to treat his condition. When the medication made it difficult for him to perform his job, his doctor took him off that medication. Five years later, and after a management change, the former employee suffered a manic episode. He took time off until his psychologist and psychiatrist cleared him to return to work. After he was cleared, Bauermeister refused to let him return and fired him after learning about his bipolar diagnosis.
In addition to paying $100,000 to the former employee to settle the suit, Bauermeister agreed to provide all of its senior management officials in the U.S. with ADA training and to create and distribute a policy prohibiting disability discrimination.
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