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March 18, 2009
United Airlines Settles Suit Alleging OT Policy Violated ADA

United Airlines has agreed to pay $850,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging that the Chicago-based company’s overtime policy violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced.

The company also agreed not to enforce such a policy in the future. The suit arose from a charge filed by a storekeeper working for United at the San Francisco International Airport. The EEOC’s suit alleged that United’s policy of denying the opportunity to work overtime to anyone placed on light or limited duty, while neutral on its face, had greater repercussions for employees with disabilities, since these workers were more likely to be assigned to light duty.

The agency said that the storekeeper, who has epilepsy, was under medical restrictions that prevented him from operating heavy machinery and working at heights, but did not restrict the number of hours a week he could work. The man was given light duty for his regular work schedule, and as a result, United had barred him from an overtime schedule despite the fact that he was medically cleared to work overtime, the EEOC alleged.

In settling the lawsuit, the company admitted no wrongdoing.

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