U.S. Firm to Pay $100,000 to Indian-Origin Employee Over Discrimination Lawsuit

Camber Corporation was accused by the U.S. Equal Employ­ment Opportunity Commission of violating federal law when it denied a trans­fer to employee Ashok Pai based on his son's medical condition and then fired him.


An American firm will pay $100,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employ­ment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of an Indian-origin employee, the agency said on July 2. Federal contractor Camber Corporation was accused of violating federal law when it denied a trans­fer to employee Ashok Pai based on his son’s medical condition and then fired him.

Such alleged behavior violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrim­ination in Employment Act (ADEA), the EEOC said in its suit. Besides a $100,000 award for lost wages, the two-year decree entered by U.S. District Court Judge Anthony J. Trenga to resolve the case includes injunctive relief to prevent disability and age discrimination from occurring at the company in the future.

According to the EEOC, Pai’s son sustained serious injuries in a car accident as a child, due to which he has been disabled for more than 25 years. Pai sought a transfer to work nearer to where his son lived and requested leave to assist with his care. However, after the man­age­ment learned that Pai was seeking a transfer to take care of his son, Camber classified him as “re­signed,” began processing termination paperwork and ultimately fired him for pretextual reasons, the EEOC said. Pai, who was then in his mid-60s, was subsequently replaced by someone over 20 years younger than him.

Camber Corporation is headquartered in Huntsville, Ala. The discrimination against Pai took place in Falls Church, Va., where he worked. The EEOC filed its suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

“When employers violate the law, the EEOC will hold them accountable. We are pleased that the parties were able to reach a resolution to better protect the rights of employees under federal law,” EEOC regional attorney Debra M. Lawrence said in a statement.

“The ADA not only prohibits employers from discriminating against people with disabilities, it also bans discrimination against employees and applicants based on their association with a person with a disability — for good reasons,” Washington Field Office Acting Director Mindy Weinstein said. “Mr. Pai simply asked for a transfer to help deal with his son’s severe disability, and the company made a bad situation worse by punishing him for trying to do the right thing and showing age bias at the same time. The EEOC is here to fight for the rights of people like Ashok Pai.”

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