4/3/2015ATS Accused Of Discriminating Against The Disabled
Violations processor sues American Traffic Solutions after she was fired for being physically unable to meet ticket quota.
Within the red light camera industry, Redflex Traffic Systems is spending the greatest amount of time in the courtroom. The company faces a federal bribery trial in Chicago, Illinois, a lawsuit over anti-Australian bias and a nasty legal battle with the company's own former executive vice president. Now Redflex competitor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) is being drawn into federal court to answer charges that it discriminated against Marie A. Mdamu, who worked as a violation processor for the Arizona-based firm from 2008 to 2012.
When first hired, Mdamu says she had to fill a quota of 70 tickets per hour, an amount that increased 57 percent to 110 citations per hour in 2011. Mdamu says the constant clicking required to convict motorists took a physical toll.
"This rapid paced data entry required plaintiff to use her hands on a keyboard toggle and a mouse continuously throughout her working hours," Bradley D. Gardner wrote in the complaint. "Sometime in 2010, Plaintiff began experience wrist pain in both wrists. This pain increased in intensity when performing her data entry work."
A doctor prescribed the use of wrist braces and physical therapy to treat her tendinitis and tenosynovitis. Mdamu asked her supervisor for a reasonable accommodation of a break each hour so she could rest her hands, as her physician suggested. According to the lawsuit, her supervisors Scott Darnell and Alicia Carrithers, refused to ease the ticket quota.
"Since the time plaintiff reported her disability, she was constantly harassed by Mr. Darnell about meeting quotas despite her inability to do so based on her disability," Gardner wrote. "On several occasions, Mr. Darnell would stand over plaintiff's shoulder and watch her as she performed her work. During one such instance, Mr. Darnell became frustrated with plaintiff because of her inability to reach the hourly quotas and he told her that she needed to take responsibility and to 'own it' when referring to her quota."
Mdamu applied for other jobs within the company that did not require wrist movement, including working in the mail room and as a trainer. The human resources department told her she was not eligible. ATS fired Mdamu on August 29, 2012. In November, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reviewed Mdamu's retaliation charges and cleared the lawsuit filed last month in the US District Court for the District of Arizona.