Honda dealership settles EEOC case for $100,000

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In 2016, Honda of Covington in Louisiana fired a sales representative after asking her to stop taking ADHD medication.

Now, the sales representative will be paid $100,000 in back pay and damages as part of a Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit settled last week.

Brandi Bourgeois was hired as a sales consultant in August 2016 and told the dealership that she had ADHD and was taking Adderall as treatment, the lawsuit said.

She was required to take a drug test at the beginning of her employment, which came back positive for amphetamines. But she was cleared to work, as the medical review officer confirmed they were the result of her prescription.

A couple of months into her job, Bourgeois’ husband was hospitalized after a serious motorcycle accident. A few days later, Bourgeois was asked to stop taking her medication by a manager who claimed that she looked “emotional” at work, the lawsuit said.

The next workday, she did not take Adderall and was told by the manager that she “was acting weird, off, and unfocused,” the lawsuit claimed. When Bourgeois explained this was because she did not take her medication, she was ordered to take a drug test.

Bourgeois was fired that day, and her termination was attributed to a positive drug test even though the results had not come back yet, the suit said. When the results did come in, they were negative, it said.

In June 2019, the EEOC decided to pursue a case against Honda of Covington. Beyond paying Bourgeois $100,000, the dealership must conduct formal training, revise its policies and provide regular reports to the EEOC, according to the Jan. 4 settlement.

“The EEOC is pleased with this resolution. This decree protects the rights of employees under” the Americans with Disabilities Act, Rudy Sustaita, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Houston District Office, said in a press release.

A representative for Honda of Covington did not respond to a request to comment.

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