PETCO Animal Supplies Stores, Inc. pays $145,000 to settle an Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA") lawsuit which was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of Nancy Buchner. Buchner had over 30 years as a pet groomer and was hired by PETCO, however the company failed to accommodate Buchner because she is deaf. Buchner claims management failed to schedule customers for her and other employees told potential customers that Buchner no longer worked for PETCO thereby making it impossible for her to make a living.
PETCO proceeded to unfairly penalize her during annual performance reviews for ineffective communication skills due to her inability to speak. Buchner quit the company after this type of behavior continued. When an employee is forced to quit because of discrimination it is called a constructive discharge. It is hard to imagion a company treating a good employee in this manner, perhaps that is why they paid so much money to settle this case. I hope PETCO instills a better training program for its employees and put in place better managers.
Olophius E. Perry EEOC attorney, said, “With the 20th anniversary of the ADA on the horizon, it is important to remember that employees with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations to ensure they have equal employment opportunities. Most often, as was the case here, the cost of accommodations is minimal.”