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Those with developmental disabilities can face challenges in the workplace

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently brought a lawsuit against Walmart for allegedly giving tacit approval to the sexual harassment of one of its employees. The suit was brought on behalf of an Ohio woman with developmental disabilities. She claims that a co-worker sexually harassed her for over 11 years at an Akron Walmart.

The male co-worker allegedly engaged in inappropriate touching at the store between 2005 and 2011. Managers were reportedly aware of the harassment, but failed to take appropriate action, according to the EEOC. The disabled employee also claims Walmart retaliated against her, firig her several weeks after she complained about the conduct.

The EEOC accuses Walmart of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act, and seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as lost wages and benefits. Walmart insists that it acted properly in the matter.

It remains to be seen how the case plays out, but it is worth mentioning that cases like this are a reminder of the challenges those with developmental disabilities can face in the workplace.

For those with a developmental disability, the Social Security office utilizes three ways of determining whether that person is disabled for purposes of Social Security benefits determination. One way is the applicant's I.Q. score-it needs to be below70. If it is at or below 59, no additional work-related impairment needs to be shown. If it is within the range of 60-70, an additional impairment must be proven.

In our next post, we'll speak a bit more about this topic.

Source: Disability Scoop, "Walmart Accused Of Violating Disabilities Act," Michelle Diament, April 16, 2013

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