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PRESS RELEASE
8-18-11

EEOC Sues Rexnord For Disability Discrimination

Woman Was Fired for Migraines at Work, Federal Agency Charges

MILWAUKEE – Rexnord Industries, LLC violated federal law by firing an employee  because of her disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged  in a lawsuit filed here today.

According to John Rowe, the EEOC’s  district director in Chicago, the EEOC’s pre-suit administrative  investigation revealed that Rexnord’s Stearns Division, located at 5150 South    International Drive  in Cudahy, Wis., fired Danielle Sullivan after she  twice became ill at work. Sullivan  suffers from migraines and was regarded by Rexnord as having a seizure  disorder.

Such  alleged conduct violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which  protects employees from discrimination based on actual or perceived  disabilities. The EEOC sued after first trying  to reach a voluntary settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks lost wages and compensatory  and punitive damages for Sullivan and injunctive relief to end the  discriminatory practices. The suit,  captioned EEOC v. Rexnord Industries, LLC  (Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-00777), was filed in federal court in Milwaukee and assigned to U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy  Joseph.

“In America, federal law guarantees to  everyone – disabled or not – the opportunity to get and keep a job,” Rowe said.  “Rexnord appears to have denied Ms. Sullivan that opportunity and  run afoul of federal law.”

EEOC Chicago Regional Attorney John C. Hendrickson said, “The ADA has been on the books for around 20  years. Most employers achieve compliance  as a matter of course, but there are those who don’t. It looks to us as though Rexnord may have  slipped into the latter group as far as Danielle Sullivan is concerned, and we have  undertaken this litigation to correct that.”

Milwaukee-based Rexnord is a privately owned corporation  with 6,300 employees worldwide.

The EEOC’s Chicago  District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination,  administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota,  South Dakota, and Wisconsin  with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting  discrimination in employment. Further  information about the Commission is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.