Walgreens Sued Over Job Disability Claim

EEOC logoWalgreen Co. in San Francisco fired an 18-year veteran employee with diabetes allegedly because she ate – before buying — a $1.39 candy bar to stabilize her low blood sugar, according to a federal disability discrimination lawsuit.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed two federal lawsuits Thursday.  The first alleges Walgreen’s discriminated against Josephina Hernandez in 2008 by allegedly failing to accommodate her disability – the diabetes.

Her lawsuit seeks back pay with interest and other damages for alleged violation of her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The second lawsuit was against Oakland’s Merritt Restaurant & Bakery for allegedly firing Jerry Gallon rather than accommodating his seizure disorder.  Gallon was a night shift kitchen manager and cook, who told the company he had a seizure disorder when he interviewed for the job, according to the lawsuit, but had not had an incident in six years.

Gallon allegedly asked but was denied time off when he felt a seizure coming on in 2009.  He was later transferred to the day shift and his hours cut, over his objections, according to the lawsuit.  He sought reimbursement for a $1,500 ambulance trip and the loss of $1,500 in professional kitchen knives lost after he was taken to the hospital, according to the suit.  Ultimately, Gallon was fired by the restaurant, in alleged violation of his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Case:  EEOC v. Walgreen Co. No. C11-4470JSC  (N. Dist. of Calif.)

EEOC v. McKinney-Griff, Inc., No. C11-4468EDL (N. Dist. of Calif.)

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