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Equal Employment Opportunity v. Applied Vacuum Technology

April 12, 2013

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
COMMISSION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
APPLIED VACUUM TECHNOLOGY, INC., CONSENT DECREE DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Susan Richard Nelson United States District Judge

I.INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (hereinafter the "EEOC") has instituted this action by filing a complaint on or about September 26, 2012 (the "Complaint") against Defendant Applied Vacuum Technology, Inc. (hereinafter, "AVT") alleging that AVT discriminated against Larry Kating ("Kating") in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA") by discharging him because AVT regarded him as having a disability. AVT has denied and defended against the allegations that it engaged in any discrimination.

In reaching this Consent Decree, the EEOC and AVT, acting by and through their counsel, engaged in arms' length negotiations and agree that the entry of this settlement does not constitute an admission of the claims and defenses of the opposing party. Throughout this process, the EEOC and AVT were represented by counsel knowledgeable in this area of the law.

THEREFORE, upon the consent of the parties, and upon review by the Court of these terms, it is:

ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that the following terms are approved as set forth herein:

I.JURISDICTION

This Court has jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter of this action.

II.FINDINGS

A. The purposes of the ADA and the public interest will be furthered by the entry of this Decree.

B. The terms of this Decree constitute a fair and equitable settlement of this action.

C. The terms of this Consent Decree were reached by a process of negotiation and compromise.

III.SCOPE

The EEOC agrees that it will not bring any further claim against AVT based on the charge underlying this lawsuit, and that this Decree constitutes a complete resolution of EEOC Charge No. 444-2009-00599. Further, by entering into this Decree the parties intend to resolve all claims of discrimination that were or could have been alleged against AVT in the Complaint relating to Kating's employment and discharge, but the EEOC does not waive or in any manner limit its right to process or seek relief in any other charge or investigation.

IV.TERM

A. The Term of this Decree and all obligations hereunder shall be five (5) years from the Effective Date hereof. The Effective Date hereof shall be the date that the District Court approves this Consent Decree.

B. During the term of the Consent Decree, the Court shall retain jurisdiction of this cause for purposes of compliance and any disputes that may arise hereunder.

V.INJUNCTION

A. AVT and its officers, agents, management (including supervisory employees), successors and assigns, and all those in active concert or participation with them, or any of them, are hereby enjoined from terminating or otherwise discriminating against an employee based on the belief that the employee's physical or mental impairment prevents him from performing the essential functions of his job without engaging in an interactive process to determine whether a reasonable accommodation would permit the employee to perform those functions.

B. AVT and its officers, agents, management (including supervisory employees), successors and assigns, and all those in active concert or participation with them, or any of them, are hereby enjoined from terminating an employee based on a concern that the employee, because of a physical or mental impairment, poses a direct threat to himself or others where AVT cannot establish through objective, medically supportable methods that there is significant risk that substantial harm could occur in the workplace.

C. AVT and its officers, agents, management (including supervisory employees), successors, assigns and all persons acting in concert with it shall not engage in any form of retaliation against any person because such person has opposed any practice made unlawful under the ADA, filed a Charge of Discrimination under the ADA, testified or participated in any manner in any investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the ADA, or asserted any rights under this Decree.

VI.POLICIES AND TRAINING

A. Within six months after the Effective Date hereof, AVT will have prepared an employee handbook containing its workplace policies. It will include the workplace policy regarding the consequences of not reporting into work daily; the policy on workplace discrimination and harassment; and the policy regarding the procedure for requesting a reasonable accommodation for a ...


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