Jewel-Osco Charged in Disability Bias Suit

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a disability discrimination suit in federal court here charging that Jewel-Osco refused to accommodate a pharmacy worker who had allergic reactions to cosmetic fragrances worn by co-workers.

CHICAGO — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a disability discrimination suit in federal court here charging that Jewel-Osco refused to accommodate a pharmacy worker who had allergic reactions to cosmetic fragrances worn by co-workers.

The suit, which also charges Jewel’s parent company, Supervalu, alleges that Jewel-Osco denied a request from an employee of its store in Homewood, Ill. that co-workers not wear fragrances. The employee suffered a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and had severe allergic reactions to some fragrances. She once passed out in the workplace because of an allergic reaction top as co-worker’s fragrance, the suit claims.

The EEOC said it filed the suit only after an attempt to voluntarily reconcile the matter with Jewel was unsuccessful.

“Our position in this case is that Jewel-Osco could have raised the issue with the few employees who worked in the pharmacy along with the charging party who had COPD,” John Hendrickson, a regional attorney for the EEOC here, said in a prepared statement.

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