Trying to let the mentally disabled employee go from its store in Woodland, Calif., though, proved costly to retailer Target Corp., which has agreed to pay $275,000 to extricate itself from her wrongful termination claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act. [Sacramento Bee] The worker had found employment at Target with the assistance of a nonprofit organization that works with mentally disabled workers, and which had supplied her with a “job coach.” It remains to be seen whether employers like Target will continue to accept such placements with enthusiasm as the perceived legal risks of doing so keep rising.
P.S. Thanks to commenters for drawing out this point: yes, Target’s ultra-stringent employee discipline policy for failure to take timely lunch breaks does look like a lawyer-driven adaptation to its high legal exposure (especially in California) to class action suits claiming that employers permitted work during designated breaks. See, for example, this post and this one. Note that in each case the company feels constrained to fire the workers because they are putting in too much work, not too little.