American Airlines and its regional air carrier Envoy Air have agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accusing the companies of systematically discriminating against and failing to accommodate employees and applicants with disabilities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  

The settlement in EEOC v. American Airlines, Inc. and Envoy Air Inc., No. 2:17-cv-04059 (D. Ariz. consent decree filed Nov. 3, 2017), in the form of a consent decree which is subject to approval by the court, commits the companies to providing $9.8 million in monetary relief to several named charging parties and a class of unnamed aggrieved persons, revising leave and accommodation policies, and assigning an “ADA Coordinator” to, among other things, review and sign off on all reasonable accommodation request denials.  

We should note that companies often agree to a settlement to avoid protracted legal proceedings and associated costs. Along those lines, this settlement states clearly up front that American and Envoy deny any liability, and have entered into this settlement to “avoid the disruption, costs, delay, and expense of continued litigation.”

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.