Published On: Tue, Feb 7th, 2012

DXP Enterprises Pays $120,000 to Woman Fired Because of Prior Back Injury and Age

DXP Enterprises, Inc., doing business as DXP Safety Alliance, Inc., has agreed to settle a disability and age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for $120,000 and other relief, the agency announced Monday.

The EEOC’s lawsuit charged that DXP hired Connie Brooks and then fired her a few days later after learning she had had a prior back injury. The EEOC alleged that DXP terminated Brooks because of her disability and/or the intersection of disability and age.

Disability discrimination violates Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employment discrimination based on age (over age 40). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation voluntary settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to monetary relief for Brooks, the consent decree settling the suit provides for other important relief, including an injunction prohibiting further discriminatory practices; institution of policies and procedures to address disability and age discrimination; training for employees, managers and human resource officials on disability and age discrimination; posting a notice advising employees of their rights under the ADA and ADEA; and a letter of reference for Brooks.

“We are pleased with this employer’s willingness to provide a prompt resolution to Ms. Brooks, as well as the company’s commitment to provide anti-discrimination training,” said Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah. “Employers must be extra vigilant to assure that decision-makers are aware that employment decisions must not be based on myths, fears or stereotypes about a person’s age or disability.”

EEOC Deputy District Director Elizabeth Cadle added, “The EEOC is gratified to see that this employer is now following the adage that ‘Prevention is the best cure’ – in this case, preventing future problems with discrimination through training  and awareness.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

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