The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing a Buckhead salon, alleging the business discriminated against a disabled employee by not providing “a reasonable accommodation” for her to do her job.
In the federal lawsuit filed this week, the agency said Jamison Shaw Enterprises Inc., which owns Jamison Shaw Hairdressers on Piedmont Road, fired stylist assistant Chiquita Cheek after she twice requested an ergonomic mat that would allow her to stand for long periods without back pain.
In a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday, Stanford Wilson of the Elarbee Thompson law firm said: “Jamison Shaw Hairdressers denies the factual and legal allegations in the lawsuit and will defend its position in Court. The Company will have no other comments on this pending litigation.”
A disabled veteran, Cheek suffers from scoliosis, a herniated disc, fibromyalgia, post traumatic stress disorder and migrain headaches, the suit said. On some days, she had to stand for more than 10 hours performing her stylist duties.
The suit said Cheek first asked the salon in March to supply an ergonomic mat, but the salon refused. The suit said Cheek offered to buy the mat herself, but the salon again refused the request and later fired her.
The EEOC said the salon violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and Civil Rights Act. The agency seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages for Cheek.
The agency said it tried to reach a settlement with Jamison Shaw in February before filing its lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Atlanta on Tuesday.
“No employee should be terminated because she attempted to exercise her right to a reasonable accommodation,” said Atlanta EEOC Director Bernice Williams-Kimbrough.
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