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EEOC Sues Illinois Temp Agency For Disability Discrimination

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Federal Agency Says JES Personnel / Genie Temporary Service Fired Employee Because of His Epilepsy

CHICAGO  – JES Personnel Consultants, Inc., doing business as Genie Temporary Service,  violated federal disability discrimination law by refusing to allow an employee  to return to work because of his epilepsy, the U.S. Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today. Genie is a temporary service agency with an  office in LaSalle, Ill., that supplies employees to various client  employers.

 

John Rowe,  director of the EEOC’s Chicago District, said that the agency’s pre-suit  investigation indicated that Genie had placed the employee with Clover  Technologies Group, LLC, where he unpacked and sorted ink cartridges. After he had a brief epileptic seizure on his  first day of work, according to Rowe, Clover allowed him to work the rest of  the day, but asked him to provide a note from his doctor authorizing him to  return to work after that. The EEOC said  that the employee provided the note to Genie the next day, and Genie neither  advised him that the note was inadequate nor forwarded the note to Clover, but  the employee was not permitted to return and was effectively terminated.

Such  alleged conduct violates the Americans With  Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits disability discrimination in  employment. The EEOC filed suit after  first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation  process. The case, EEOC v. JES Personnel Consultants, Inc. d/b/a Genie Temporary Serivce, Civil  Action No. 11 CV 5117, was filed today in U.S. District Court for the Northern  District of Illinois, Eastern Division and has been assigned to U.S. District  Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer. The  government’s litigation effort will be led by EEOC Trial Attorney Gordon  Waldron and Supervisory Trial Attorney Gregory Gochanour.

“Temp  agencies and other employment agencies play an important role as gatekeepers to  employment opportunities throughout our economy,” said John Hendrickson, the  EEOC’s regional attorney in Chicago. “They have an obligation under federal law to  give fair consideration to qualified people with disabilities when making  placement decisions.”

The EEOC  Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of  discrimination, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency  litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin,  Minnesota, Iowa,  and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices  in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws  prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

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