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Defense firm settles ADA claim, pays ex-Maryland employee $150K

CACI admits no wrongdoing in settlement with EEOC

A Maryland systems administrator will receive a $150,000 settlement from a defense contractor that allegedly reassigned and later fired her rather than accommodate her chronic headaches after a car crash.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had claimed that CASI Secured Transformations LLC violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act with its termination of Mary Dyer after she returned to work in August 2018 after a three-month medical leave.

Arlington, Virginia-based CASI denied any wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement this month. The agreement resolved a lawsuit EEOC filed two years ago against the company in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

“Our nation recently celebrated the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and yet, all too often, disabled workers who need reasonable accommodations are still not receiving them,” EEOC regional attorney Debra M. Lawrence said in a statement announcing the settlement. “The EEOC will continue to aggressively enforce the ADA requirement that employers reasonably accommodate their workers with disabilities absent undue hardship.”

CACI’s lead attorney, Brooks R. Amiot, did not immediately return a message Friday seeking comment on the litigation and settlement. Amiot is with Jackson Lewis PC in Baltimore.

According to EEOC’s complaint, CACI hired Dyer in early 2018 to work at its Annapolis Junction site to handle customer support for the company’s National Security Agency client. The car crash in May 2018 left Dyer with post traumatic and occipital headaches, according to the complaint.

In mid-September, one month after returning to work, Dyer was transferred to a CACI facility in Fort Meade. This new location was cramped and noisy – unlike Annapolis Junction – and added at least 30 minutes to her commute, conditions that exacerbated her headaches, EEOC stated.

After about two weeks, Dyer requested to be transferred back to Annapolis Junction but was denied, the commission added.

Dyer was at work on the morning of Oct. 3 when her health care provider told her she had developed an aneurysm. Dyer told her supervisor right away and was fired later that day, according to EEOC’s complaint.

In addition to paying Dyer $150,000, CACI agreed to provide at least 90 minutes of ADA training to its employees who receive accommodations requests and who recommend or make decisions regarding reasonable accommodations for a worker’s disability.

CACI will also submit reports every six months for the next two years to EEOC documenting all complaints of disability discrimination that the company receives.

“Training is often the best way to prevent disability discrimination,” Jamie Williamson, director of EEOC’s Philadelphia district, said in the statement announcing the settlement.

“Ensuring that all employees, especially management, are properly trained regarding their obligations under the ADA, including their duty to engage in good faith, diligent communications with their disabled employees about accommodation needs, is a smart business practice and the right thing to do,” Williamson added. “Leadership means stewardship of your organization’s most valuable asset – its people.”

The case was docketed in U.S. District Court as U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. CACI Secured Transformation Systems LLC et al., No. 1:19-cv-02693-JKB.