JPMorgan Chase Agrees to $2.2M ADA Settlement

November 27, 2006 ( - JPMorgan Chase & Co., the third-biggest US bank, has agreed to a $2.2 million settlement of a government lawsuit charging its Bank One unit violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in dealing with hundreds of disabled employees.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claimed Bank One, which merged with Chase in 2004, failed to give required accommodations to employees who had taken medical leaves of longer than six months by not individually assessing whether extra leave would help the employees without unduly hurting the company, according to news reports.

While the Bank One policy guaranteed employees who took six months or less of leave their same position upon return, employees who needed more than six months leave could return to find their position filled. The policy provision at issue in the EEOC case required such employees to find another job within the bank within 30 days of returning to work or face termination.

JPMorgan Chase will distribute the settlement among 222 people who went on long-term disability while employed by Bank One and were later terminated, according to the news reports. The firm will also make a monetary contribution to Open Doors, a Chicago-based non-profit, to support its advocacy work on behalf of disabled employees.

“Chase is settling this case to resolve this matter expeditiously and also because this agreement reaffirms its commitment to providing reasonable accommodations to its employees,” the bank said in a statement.

This was the second settlement of EEOC charges in as many days by JPMorgan, the news reports said. JPMorgan agreed last week to pay $200,000 to settle EEOC claims that its Chase Manhattan Bank unit fired an employee because of a speech impairment.