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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Civil Rights Commission’s (ICRC) Deputy Director Akia Haynes announced today there is probable cause to believe that a former employee of Nachi Technology in Greenwood, Ind. faced unlawful discrimination when he was terminated the day before a scheduled medical procedure.
During the course of his employment, Complainant asserts that he told his employer he was in the process of scheduling surgery to address a medical issue. After learning of Complainant’s plans, Respondent’s Human Resources Manager suggested that Complainant quit, have surgery, heal, and then reapply for his positions.
Further, evidence shows that immediately before Complainant’s scheduled surgery, Respondent informed Complainant that he had committed numerous policy violations during the course of his employment; however, there is no evidence that Respondent documented the alleged violations or disciplined Complainant in accordance with its own progressive discipline policy prior to his termination. Citing these alleged policy violations, Respondent terminated Complainant the day before he was scheduled to have his surgery.
Despite the Respondent’s assertions, there is sufficient evidence to show that its rationale for Complainant’s termination is unworthy of credence and may amount to pretext for unlawful discrimination on the basis of perceived disability.
In order to prevail, Complainant must show that: (1) he is a member of a protected class; (2) he suffered an adverse employment action; (3) he was meeting Respondent’s legitimate business expectations; and (4) similarly-situated employees without disabilities were treated more favorably under similar circumstances.
A finding of probable cause does not resolve a Civil Rights Complaint. Rather, it means the State has concluded its preliminary investigation and determined there is sufficient evidence to support reasonable suspicion that the Indiana Civil Rights Laws have been violated. Indiana Civil Rights Law provides remedies, including compensatory damages and injunctive relief, such as changes in the employer’s policies and training.
The Indiana Civil Rights Commission enforces the Indiana civil rights laws and provides education and services to the public in an effort to ensure equal opportunity for all Hoosiers and visitors to the State of Indiana. For more information, contact Brad Meadows, ICRC Deputy Director for External Affairs, at (317) 232-2651.