Indiana power grid operator to pay settlement in EEOC lawsuit

EEOC: Woman with postpartum depression fired

CARMEL, Ind. - A woman who was fired from her job as she suffered from postpartum depression resulted in a $90,500 settlement from a Carmel-based company.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Thursday that Midcontinent Independent Transmission System Operator, a company that operates the power grid for much of the Midwest, will pay the settlement money and "furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit."

The EEOC said the woman made her condition known to the company, but denied her request for leave to deal with the issue, even though it was available under company policy.

The employee then filed a discrimination charge. The EEOC said the company insisted having an employee in the woman's position was critical, but waited more than a month to fill the position and allowed the new employee to delay her start date by another three months.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers must provide a reasonable accommodation of an employee's disability, unless the employer would suffer an undue hardship as a result.

The EEOC said it sued the company after trying to reach a settlement through conciliation.

Under the agreement, MISO must provide training to employees on obligations under ADA, along with other concessions.

"The EEOC takes seriously its charge to eliminate employment discrimination against people with disabilities and remains committed to enforcing the ADA," said EEOC attorney Laurie Young, in a statement. "The ADA provides protections to employees suffering the debilitating effects of postpartum depression, and we applaud this person for standing up for her rights."

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