Dillards LogoEmployment Law has many different facets which can be difficult to understand. Tayeb Hyderally is a highly experienced employment law attorney who has many years of experience at successful litigation in a wide variety of employment law cases. He travels extensively to speak to various groups in order to educate employees and employers regarding the various aspects of how these laws pertain to them in the workplace. Ty Hyderally shares his expertise with various groups making them aware of how they can all ensure the workplace remains free from all forms of discrimination and unfair practices. This case filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Dillard’s is an example of unfair practices as it applies under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Affected employees at the national retail chain, Dillard’s Inc. joined in the class action suit filed by the EEOC in 2008. The EEOC originally filed the suit on behalf of Corina Scott who was formerly a cosmetics counter employee at the Dillard’s store located in El Centro, California. The suit stated that employees were required to disclose personal details including the exact nature of medical conditions for which they were requesting sick leave.  Those filing class action explained that they had received verification from their doctors to assure store officials that the reasons for the absences were for medical purposes, and many of the individuals involved were uncomfortable with disclosing the specifics pertaining to their condition to the company. Corina Scott was terminated from her position when she refused to provide the details of her medical condition even though she was absent for only four days time.

The EEOC’s Suit

According to the EEOC, Dillard’s policy is in violation of the ADA since it prohibits employers from asking about specifics of an employee’s disability unless it is directly related to the job and also directly influences their ability to do the tasks that are related to the position. The District Court ruled that the medical disclosure policy set in place by Dillard’s was indeed discriminatory in nature under the ADA. The EEOC also claimed that Dillard’s was enforcing a maximum leave policy which limited the amount of leave an employee could take for medical purposes. The company’s policy did not allow for an interactive process with their employees through which it could be determined if more leave would be allowed under the ADA which outlines the types of accommodations which are required for an employee’s disability.

The Settlement

The parties concerned ended with a three year consent decree in which Dillard’s is required to pay $2 million. The funds will go to the victims who have already been identified and there will also be a class fund established for those victims which have not yet been identified. Dillard’s is also required to hire a consultant who is knowledgeable about the ADA. The consultant will review and revise appropriate company policies including medical inquiries and maximum leave policies. They will develop a company wide system for handling complaints which involve disability discrimination.  Each year, Dillard’s will report to the EEOC and verify that they continue to comply with the decree.