The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against ISS Facility Services Inc. , a workplace experience and facility management company for denying an employee’s remote work request and firing her.
According to the lawsuit, Ronisha Moncrief was an employee for ISS working as a health and safety manager at the company’s Takeda facility in Covington, Georgia. From March 2020 to June 2020, ISS made it mandatory for all employees to work remotely for four days every week due to the pandemic.
The facility re-opened in June 2020. Moncrief be allowed remote work for two days a week and also will need to take frequent breaks while working onsite because of a pulmonary condition. The condition makes breathing difficult for Moncrief, thereby making her more prone to contracting COVID-19. Allegedly, the company allowed other staff in Moncrief’s position to work from home. Moncrief wasn’t only denied the request to work from home but also fired shortly after that.
ISS has allegedly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 1:21-CV-3708-SCJ-RDC) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division. EEOC tried attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement. The EEOC is seeking pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the Moncrief.
This case is the first lawsuit filed by the EEOC in regards to a request for an ADA accommodation related to COVID-19.
“The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities to ensure those with disabilities have an equal opportunity to work to their full ability. Denying a reasonable accommodation and terminating an employee because of her disability clearly violates the ADA at any time. In light of the additional risks to health and safety created by COVID-19, it is particularly concerning that an employer would take this action several months into a global pandemic.”
Marcus G. Keegan, regional attorney, EEOC’s Atlanta District Office
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