The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming a Duluth lumber company terminated an employee because of their disability.
The EEOC alleges that BlueLinx, formally Lake States Lumber, discriminated against Eric Stauber when they terminated his employment due to his disability. According to court documents, Stauber, who was a forklift driver, required heart surgery in November 2015. On Feb. 10, 2016, Stauber was released by his doctor to return to work with no restrictions and submitted a doctor's note to BlueLinx saying as such.
When Stauber returned to work he was placed in a different job and restrictions were imposed on his work, court documents said. About nine days later, Stauber was told by his managers that he could no longer perform any jobs at their facility and was terminated, court documents said.
The EEOC is asking for Stauber to be compensated for past and future wage loss as well as medical expenses and retirement or pension contributions not covered in BlueLinx's employee benefit plan. It is also asking that Stauber be compensated for past and future emotional pain, suffering inconvenience and mental anguish. All amounts would be determined at trial.
BlueLinx is a manufacturer and wholesale distributor of building products that specializes in servicing retail building material dealers. The company has locations in Aitkin, Brooklyn Park, Duluth, Schofield, Wis., and Sparta, Wis.
When asked for a comment on the lawsuit, BlueLinx said as a matter of policy they do not comment on pending litigation.