On March 15, 2023, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission approved a settlement, totaling more than $37.5 million, in a disability discrimination lawsuit against the Department of State and created new job opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The case involved a policy by the Department of State Foreign Service (“Foreign Service” requiring employees to submit a medical clearance indicating that they could work at 100 percent of the posts around the world. The Class Agent in the case, who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, was denied employment even though her medical providers cleared her to work in 85% of posts around the world. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, an employee with a disability no longer needs to demonstrate “worldwide availability” and the Foreign Service must consult with employees with disabilities on an individual basis. The significant policy changes resulting from the agreement will expand access to jobs for individuals with disabilities as the Rehabilitation Act and Americans with Disabilities Act were designed to do. Gary Gilbert was honored to serve as counsel with Bryan Schwartz Law on this important case.
If you believe you have been discriminated against based on disability, the attorneys at Gilbert Employment Law may be able to help. You can read more about your rights under the Rehabilitation Act and Americans with Disabilities Act here.