All Articles Tagged "Americans With Disabilities Act"
Actually, this time it’s Abercrombie’s company Hollister that’s stepped in it. A federal judge has ruled that the company violates the Americans With Disabilities Act with its porch front stores and blocked ramps.
“A company spokesman said that the raised entrances were designed to create ‘an entry to a house in Southern California that you would walk up onto the porch or walk down into the porch, to enter, like you would do at a beach house,’” reports The Daily Mail.
Julie Farrar, who is in a wheelchair, tried to enter a Hollister store in Colorado. There are stairs out front, but the retailer says there are ramps off to the side. Unfortunately, the doors that those ramps lead to are blocked by tables inside the store. And, Farrar says, going through a side door isn’t fair. (Indeed.) “She said that in school using a wheelchair meant she was effectively segregated from other students. She remembers her family being asked to leave restaurants, movie theaters and shops because she ‘was considered a fire and safety hazard,’” quotes Jezebel.
The case ultimately goes back to 2009 when both Hollister and Abercrombie were sued by several people for violation of the Act. Since then, the only store remaining from the original suit was one in Colorado (others in the state have since increased wheelchair accessibility). Then it turned into a class action suit in 2012 against 248 Hollister stores in the US. The company was ordered to bring the stores up to compliance and, in three months, hadn’t.
The message we get from these repeated stories of discrimination and bad policy: Abercrombie and Hollister just don’t see anything wrong with being jerks.
“I didn’t know why, but I was really concerned about my job. I was worried I was going to lose my job,” she told WTVR.com.Though the treatment was successful, Robinson’s worst fear came true when she was fired from her job during her final week of chemotherapy. In a severance letter, Robinson was informed that her time allotted under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) had run out. According to federal law, employers are required to provide employees job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons including personal or family illness. Robinson’s letter stated she was allowed twelve calendar weeks of unpaid leave in a rolling 12-month period, and by December 14, 2009, she had exhausted all available days.
Though her job had been given to someone else, Robinson’s previous employer encouraged her to re-apply to the non-profit where they received a grant to fund her position. Three months later the non-profit hired her but history repeated itself when in May 2010, Robinson felt another lump. After surgery and chemotherapy, she was declared cancer-free by the fall of that year. But when she was ready to return to work, there was no position for her. Employment attorney Harris Butler says laws provide minimal protection for employees, especially in cases of temporary positions.“I worked even when I was sick and it’s like it didn’t matter. You don’t matter,” Robinson said.
“If the employer wants to let you go, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it,” said Butler. “It’s really unfortunate.”The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) offers some protection for those who work for a small business with 15 or more employees, but the coverage lasts for only a certain period of time and Butler says when it expires there are no guarantees. Both ADA and FMLA allow you to appeal a firing if you feel you’ve been discriminated against because of your illness. Under FMLA you have 300 days or 10 months to appeal, ADA only gives you 180 days. Butler says it can be hard to go through the process while you’re fighting a life-threatening disease and Robinson is a testament to that, as she missed the deadlines for appeal. Now she spends her days trying to find new employment. Although Robinson says she felt guilty at first for undergoing chemo treatment, she now wants to remind other cancer patients of what’s important.
“Go through your treatment, fight through the cancer, and then fight for your life,” she said.Hopefully Robinson wins this battle too. What do you think about her situation? Was she let go fairly? Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Christopher wrestled with the decision of whether to tell his superiors about his status once he found out he was HIV-positive in April 2011. He said he eventually told one manager in June 2011 because he felt they should know in case side effects from his medicine caused him to need time off work. He said he was hoping for support, especially since he knew other managers in corporate restaurants, not franchises, who had the same issues with the stores they oversaw.“When they’re fired from their job, they frequently lose their healthcare with it,” he said.
“It was a very personal decision that I thought about before I did it,” Christopher said. “I was looking more for guidance and support, and that’s why I did it.” “After I disclosed, I was not the only person in my position who had these types of incidents occur in their restaurants, and I was the only one who was being treated this way.”Christopher remains unemployed despite going on several interviews since his firing. His lawyer said his office took up Chris’s case particularly because of his long history of good-standing with Burger King.
“The fact pattern is very troubling, particularly against a large corporate entity like Burger King,” he said. “We wanted to step in and send a message to employers that this is inappropriate.”Do you think Christopher will win this suit? Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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