EEOC Settles Disability Discrimination Suit with Trane

May 10, 2005 ( - The federal anti-workplace discrimination agency has worked out an $80,000 settlement in a discrimination disability suit involving a Trane Tennessee plant and a woman suffering a partial loss of voice.

According to a news report in the Clarksville (Tennessee) Leaf-Chronicle, the settlement between Trane and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) involved a lawsuit EEOC filed on behalf of Trane worker Linda Riggins Parker. The lawsuit had alleged that Trane refused to provide a legally required accommodation for Parker who has suffered from dysphonia, or partial loss of voice.

The suit also had charged that Trane forced Parker to take short-term disability leave against her wishes, and then fired her in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, according to the news report.

“We believe that we acted in compliance with the law, and we just want to emphasize that by settling this lawsuit, we’re not admitting to any wrongdoing,” Lisa Glover, a corporate spokeswoman for American Standard, Trane’s parent company, told the newspaper.

After Parker filed a charge of disability discrimination with EEOC, the suit said, her termination was changed to an unpaid leave of absence, according to news reports.

The EEOC says Parker remained on unpaid leave for more than a year before she was permitted to return to work in January 2002. Parker had been working for Trane in Clarksville for nearly 40 years at the time the lawsuit was settled.

Trane has about 1,450 workers at the plant, according to the Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council.