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December 22, 1999
How Good is Your Supervisors ADA Training?
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e, you have all the rules for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) committed to memory-well, okay, a lot of them, enough to know about reasonable accommodation. That's great. But what about your managers? All of them? Are you sure?

Wal-Mart found out the hard way that it had not quite covered all the bases when it came to training its managers on issues involving the ADA. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (EEOC v. Wal-Mart) held that the company's lack of training in employment discrimination and ADA requirements made Wal-Mart liable for punitive damages.

The company did have written policies regarding these issues, but the court found that was not sufficient to protect the company from liability.

Lonnie Quintana, the personnel manager who was also responsible for training at the Wal-Mart store in question, stated that she had never received training in employment discrimination nor in the requirements of the ADA. She also stated that she had never discussed the ADA with any of the employees under her supervision and did not have a copy of Wal-Mart's ADA handbook.

The Court said, "Wal-Mart's assertion of a generalized policy of equality and respect for the individual does not demonstrate an implemented good-faith policy of educating employees on the Act's accommodation and nondiscrimination requirements. The evidence demonstrates a broad failure on the part of Wal-Mart to educate its employees, especially its supervisors, on the requirements of the ADA and to prevent discrimination in the (workplace)".

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