According to the DisabilityScoop, a federal jury recently rewarded $240 million to 32 men with intellectual disabilities for “years of abuse and discrimination at the hands of their employer.” The men worked at Henry’s Turkey Service, an Iowa turkey processing plant, where they were found to be living in “substandard conditions and were subject to verbal and physical harassment.”
The lawsuit was brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EOC) against the Texas-based owner of the facility. A jury in Iowa sided with the EOC, saying the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and awarded each of the men $2 million in punitive damages and $5.5 million in compensatory damages.
“The verdict sends an important message that the conduct that occurred here is intolerable in this nation, and hopefully will help to restore dignity and acknowledge the humanity of the workers who were mistreated for so many years,” Jacqueline Berrien, chair of the EEOC told DisabilityScoop. Other employees frequently called the men “retarded”, “dumbass” and “stupid”. The turkey processing plant closed in 2009.
We are happy for these men; people should not be treated with disrespect because of their intellectual disabilities. Many people with intellectual disabilities are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
For a person to qualify for SSDI benefits, a determination for eligibility is based on work history. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has two different gauges by which to evaluate your work history. The first test is the “Duration of Work Test,” while the second test is the “Recent Work Test.” These tests take into account how long a person has worked, as well as how recently, in order to determine benefits.
If you have questions about your application for disability benefits, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. You may also reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys