Supervalu to settle disability discrimination suit for $3.2 million Read more: Supervalu to settle disability discrimination suit for $3.2 million |
January 7, 2011
Supervalu Inc. will pay $3.2 million to settle a disability discrimination suit with Chicago-area workers, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Wednesday.
The EEOC sued Eden Prairie-based Supervalu (NYSE: SVU) and its Jewel Food Stores Inc. and American Drug Stores grocery chain Jewel-Osco in 2009, alleging that disabled employees were fired after medical leaves as a matter of policy. The EEOC said in a news release that about 1,000 employees were fired under the policy since 2003.
Jewel-Osco will pay about $29,000 to each of 110 former workers, and will also train managers on disability accommodations. The chain will also hire consultants to evaluate job descriptions, according to a consent decree signed by Chief U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman of the court’s Northern Illinois district.
In a statement obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, Jewel-Osco spokeswoman Karen May said Supervalu felt it complied with the law but settled to avoid spending further time, money and energy on the lawsuit.
“Supervalu and Jewel-Osco do not discriminate on the basis of disability. In fact, Jewel-Osco has been consistently recognized for its efforts to hire and accommodate people with disabilities, receiving awards from multiple advocacy organizations and being named one of the top employers in Illinois for people with disabilities by the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Division of Rehabilitation Services,” May said.