EEOC sues Beaumont company for alleged discrimination of disabled

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Sep. 6, 2010, 7:53am

Alleging disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against ENGlobal Engineering Inc.

According to court papers filed Aug. 26 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division, the engineering company allegedly terminated an employee with multiple sclerosis.

In August 2007, ENGlobal hired Jeff Rose as a safety supervisor Jeff Rose. Rose was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis about a month later.

He claims he was told by the regional safety manager that the company would not want to deal with it. He allegedly assured the manager that he would still be capable of working.

The safety manager urged Rose to apply for short term disability leave. A month later, Rose gave the company a full medical release without restrictions to return to work on Sept. 17, 2007.

Rose states he was told his safety supervisor position was not available. About 10 days later, Rose received a letter stating he was terminated as of Sept. 17 because no position was available.

According to court documents, the safety supervisor position remained vacant until Oct. 8, 2007, when ENGlobal hired another individual who was not disabled.

The defendant is accused of intentionally committing unlawful employment practices and committing those practices with malice or reckless indifference for Rose's civil rights.

The EEOC is asking the court to issue an injunction preventing ENGlobal Engineering from discriminating on the basis of disability and from retaliating against employees who make good-faith complaints of employment discrimination.

The plaintiff is also asking the court to order the defendant to institute and carry out policies, practices and programs which provide equal employment opportunities for qualified individuals with disabilities.

On behalf of Rose, the EEOC is seeking damages for back pay, interest, lost wages, front pay, pecuniary losses, out-of-pocket expenses, non-pecuniary losses including emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, punitive damages, interest and court costs.

Washington D.C. attorney P. David Lopez is general counsel for EEOC. Houston attorney Claudia Molina-Antanaitis is attorney-in-charge.

Jury trial requested.

U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:10cv00514

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