She asked to bring oxygen to work — they fired her instead

Published 11:55 pm Wednesday, October 27, 2021

WINSTON-SALEM (AP) — A woman who was fired after asking to bring an oxygen tank to work to help her breathe will get $25,000 in a federal settlement.

TriMark Foodcraft also agreed to train its staff on what qualifies as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act as part of a two-year consent decree, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said.

Jean S. Perry worked as an accounting clerk for TriMark’s distribution facility in Winston-Salem through a temporary placement agency, the EEOC’s lawsuit said. In December 2018, she was admitted to a hospital for breathing problems related to a disability. When she tried to return to work and asked to bring a personal oxygen device with her, she was fired.

The manufacturer of commercial kitchen equipment settled the EEOC’s suit on Friday, the federal agency announced.

The consent decree also requires TriMark to amend its current anti-discrimination policy to include examples of ADA-qualifying job modifications and post the policy where it is visible to employees. It also is required to hold annual ADA training for human resource employees and specialized training for the person who makes the decision, and to provide periodic reports to the EEOC, according to the news release.