Two small bottles of orange juice cost a major Tennessee company more than $277,000. When an employee has a disability such as diabetes and is denied an accommodation in the form of a policy exception, it can mean big bucks in attorneys’ fees, time away from work for managers and employees, and damages.
According to the EEOC, Dollar General is the nation’s largest “small box” retailer. Based in Middle Tennessee, Dollar General operates 12,400 stores in the United States with 113,000 employees and valued at about $23 billion. One of those stores is located in Maryville, and one of those employees was Linda Atkins.
After Ms. Atkins worked there for three years and won promotions and raises, she was fired in 2012 for grabbing a $1.69 orange juice to stave off a hypoglycemic attack and keep herself from passing out.