Comfort Suites to pay $132,500 For disability discrimination aga - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Comfort Suites to pay $132,500 For disability discrimination against clerk with autism

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Comfort Suites will pay $132,500 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed against the hotel chain on behalf of a San Diego hotel clerk with autism, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Monday.

The EEOC charged that a front desk clerk at the Comfort Suites Mission Valley Hotel was denied a reasonable accommodation, disciplined and ultimately fired in 2008 due to his disability.

The clerk had prior hotel experience in a similar position, where his work earned him a positive recommendation, according to the EEOC.

Shortly after starting at Comfort Suites, he sought free job coach services from the state. A job coach would have helped the clerk learn to master his job by using autism-specific training techniques.

However, Tarsadia Hotels -- doing business as Comfort Suites -- refused to allow the assistance of a job coach and then fired the clerk, according to the EEOC, which filed suit in September 2010 in U.S. District Court in San Diego, alleging violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

As part of the settlement, the parties entered into a three-year consent decree under which Tarsadia will pay the claimant $125,000 and donate $7,500 to Partnerships With Industry, a San Diego-based nonprofit organization that provides employment support to people with disabilities.

Tarsadia further agreed to sweeping changes, including revising its policies and procedures with respect to ADA compliance.

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