LOS ANGELES — Attorney Carney Shegerian, founder of the Los Angeles-based employment discrimination firm Shegerian & Associates, recently released comments on a $5.5 million verdict charging U.S.steel with disability discrimination. A former U.S. Steel employee, Albert Gucker, 64, filed the claim when a new supervisor fired him after refusing to uphold his work restrictions. Those restrictions had been in place for nine years prior to Gucker’s termination in order to accommodate his arthritic knee condition.
“Disability discrimination cases often turn on an employer’s response to requests – old or new – for reasonable accommodation,” said Shegerian. “An employer by law is obligated to accommodate a disability that does not pose an undue risk to the business. When a new supervisor comes on board with long-held accommodations in place, they must still adhere to the accommodations unless there’s a justifiable reason not to do so.”
“The message the court and jury is sending here by recognizing the $5 million in punitive damages, in addition to the $550,000 in compensatory damages, is that when employers fail to uphold reasonable accommodations for disabled workers, it’s a severe violation of employee rights,” Shegerian went on to say. “The hope is always that employers will sit up and pay attention with verdicts like these which place disability discrimination at the center of costly litigation outcomes.”
Located in Santa Monica, Shegerian & Associates is a law firm specializing in protecting the rights of employees who have been wronged by their employers. Richly experienced in labor and employment law and possessing an unparalleled success record as litigators, Shegerian & Associates is passionately dedicated to serving the needs of its clients. For more information about the firm, visit www.ShegerianLaw.com.
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