Federal authorities have abandoned their discrimination claim against a St. Paul printing and packaging company that they had accused of firing a worker because of his disability.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Impressions Inc. agreed to a dismissal of the lawsuit, which the agency filed in May 2017 in federal court in St. Paul under provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Justin Cadmus, who worked for 10 years as a press helper for Impressions, was diagnosed with depression in 2014. The EEOC had alleged that the diagnosis prompted the firing.
In arguing for dismissal, Impressions said in a court filing that Cadmus, 34, of Hudson, Wis., had received warnings about leaving work early without approval and becoming short-tempered, disruptive, irrational and aggressive toward other employees.
"It is unfortunate that the EEOC took [the] allegations as true on their face and pursued a lawsuit without properly investigating his claims," said Steve Cerny, an attorney for Impressions.
"Had the EEOC conducted a more thorough investigation in the beginning, Impressions is confident that the EEOC would have realized the allegations were unfounded and based on false information, including a forged document and alleged doctor's visit that never happened."
Jean Kamp, an EEOC attorney involved in the case, said that Cerny's contentions "are simply not true." Otherwise, Kamp called the dismissal "a somewhat unusual result" and declined to comment further.
The dismissal agreement, which won approval from U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson, calls for each side to cover their own expenses in connection with the case.
Cerny said his client chose not to pursue having its legal expenses from this case paid for by the EEOC because "litigation can be exhausting and expensive, and after 3½ years of battling the EEOC to clear its name and reputation, Impressions accomplished its goal and made a business decision that it was not worth the time and resources to continue to pursue sanctions against the EEOC."