Overview: In Savage v. Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, the MCAD found in favor of the Complainant and awarded substantial back pay and emotional distress damages for employment discrimination based on a disability. The Complainant had a history of dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, and chronic depression prior to being hired by the Respondent, a state agency. These disabilities were made apparent to the Respondent through the Complainant’s initial self-identification and several subsequent disclosures to various supervising staff.
The hearing officer found that the agency failed to engage in meaningful communication with the Complainant and failed to fashion meaningful accommodation for his disabilities. The officer further concluded that the Complainant’s training director “seemed more intent on terminating Complainant’s employment as quickly as possible while he was on probation to avoid dealing with the collective bargaining rights that would adhere once he became a non-probationary employee.” The Complainant had also been subjected to a hostile work environment due to demeaning, bully, and intimidating conduct by the training director.