BALTIMORE — M&T Bank, will be paying $100,000 and provide relief to resolve a federal disability lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the suit, a M&T branch manager in Baltimore advised a vice president that she needed surgery for a pregnancy-related disability. While she was on leave, M&T informed the manager that they would fill her position unless she was medically cleared to return to work within 10 days.
Months later, after giving birth and receiving medical clearance to return to work, M&T required the manager to apply for vacant positions for which she was qualified instead of simply reassigning her to one of them as a reasonable accommodation.
The EEOC also charged there were at least 24 vacant branch manager or assistant branch manager positions available in the greater Baltimore region at the time the manager attempted to return to work and that M&T discharged her because of her disability and record of disability.
In September 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Ellen L. Hollander granted summary judgment on the EEOC’s reasonable accommodation claim, finding that the manager had a disability within the meaning of the ADA and that she was entitled to non-competitive reassignment to a vacant position for which she was qualified as a reasonable accommodation.
In addition to the $100,000 in lost wages and compensatory damages to the manager, the three-year consent decree resolving the case enjoins M&T Bank from engaging in disability discrimination in the future.
The bank must create a non-competitive procedure so that a qualified employee returning from work after an extended leave of absence due to a disability and whose job has been replaced may be reassigned to a vacant position as a reasonable accommodation.
M&T Bank will also provide training on Title VII, post an anti-discrimination notice, and report to the EEOC on how it handles any reassign¬ment of employees whose jobs were replaced while on a medical leave of absence.