Target Faces Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

August 26, 2009 ( - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today filed a discrimination lawsuit against national retailer Target Stores, Inc. for failing to provide accommodations for a worker who could not effectively communicate with others without the assistance of a job coach because of his cerebral palsy and limited intellectual functioning.

The lawsuit also accuses the retailer of reducing the employee’s work hours due to his medical conditions.

According to an EEOC announcement the agency claims the employee at Target’s store in Foothill Ranch in Southern Orange County was subjected to discriminatory practices on the basis of disability when Target failed to notify his job coach and parents of any in-person meetings involving work issues and job performance, as requested. The disabled employee was compelled to attend these in-person meetings without the assistance of a job coach or parent, even though repeated requests had been made by both the job coach and parents to be in attendance.

Target had hired this employee with full knowledge of his disabilities and need for a reasonable accommodation, according to the EEOC.

“What is particularly disturbing here is that Target already knew this employee was disabled and needed assistance with communicating during in-person meetings,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Anna Y. Park of the agency’s Los Angeles District Office, in the announcement. “Target’s failure to provide a reasonable accommodation denied him equal benefits and privileges of employment. Despite his disabilities, the employee in this case was qualified and motivated to work, but Target denied him an equal opportunity to succeed in the workplace.”