Georgia Power Sued by EEOC

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Workers who file worker’s compensation claims are often temporarily disabled. Sometimes those workers face discrimination when they try to return to work.

According to Georgia Power Company Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination, Georgia Power [also known as Southern Company] was named as a Defendant in a lawsuit filed in Federal Court on September 30 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [EEOC]. The EEOC says that Georgia Power didn’t allow employees to return to work after being cleared to work by their doctor, and didn’t hire people they thought were disabled.

The lawsuit could become a class action suit.

Employers can’t discriminate against someone who is disabled, or who has a record of a prior disability because of the The Americans With Disabilities Act [ADA], which was passed in 1990. According to the EEOC website, the ADA “…is the nation’s first comprehensive civil rights law addressing the needs of people with disabilities, prohibiting discrimination in employment, public services, public accommodations, and telecommunications.”

Unfortunately, not all companies obey the ADA, and there lawsuits are filed frequently against companies who violate the ADA.

Robert Dawkins, attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta office, said of the Georgia Power suit: “An employer cannot terminate or refuse to hire an employee because of a disability, or merely because it perceives that person to be disabled. Here, the employees and applicants were ready, willing and able to work, but the company refused to let them work because of their disabilities or what it assumed were disabilities. Such conduct violates federal law.”

This is not the first time the EEOC has filed suit against Georgia Power alleging discrimination. In 2011, they filed suit against Georgia Power and Garney Construction, as they reported on their website: Garney Construction and Georgia Power to Pay $49,500 to Settle EEOC Disability Lawsuit. That suit alleged that Garney failed to hire someone because he was taking epilepsy medication, and Georgia Power was behind the decision, which was discriminatory.

If you or someone you know thinks they have suffered an injury or been discriminated against while on the job, Nate Hansford can help. Contact Nate by phone at 770-922-3660.

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