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EEOC Suit Claims Kmart Fired Man for Using a Cane

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued Kmart Corp., alleging that the discount retailer fired an employee at a store after discovering he uses a cane to help him walk and stand.

Alonzo McGlone worked as a greeter at the Kmart store in Norfolk in September 2004, according to the commission, which filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. It charged that Kmart discriminated against McGlone and violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act by refusing to let him use a cane and denying him work because of his disability, a debilitating back impairment known as spinal stenosis.

The suit seeks an unspecified amount for McGlone in back pay, compensation for Kmart’s “unlawful employment practices” and punitive damages. It also asks the court to stop Kmart from continuing discrimination and to order the company to develop policies that provide equal opportunities for employees with disabilities.

The EEOC said McGlone had no trouble working as a greeter. He “could perform the essential functions of the greeter position with or without a reasonable accommodation,” the suit said. “Despite his qualifications, Mr. McGlone was terminated.”

More than 30 days before the lawsuit was filed, McGlone filed a discrimination complaint with the commission under the Disabilities Act, according to the suit. The EEOC said it tried to reach a voluntary settlement with Kmart before filing the suit.

In its statement, the EEOC said the number of disability discrimination complaint filings nationwide reached 19,453 in the 2008 fiscal year – a 10 percent increase from the prior year and the highest number in 14 years.

If you or a family member has been subjected to wrongful termination or employment discrimination, then please contact the Fort Worth Texas Wrongful Termination Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online.

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