Puerto Rican justice department faces US lawsuit

AP News
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Posted: Apr 19, 2011 1:13 PM
Puerto Rican justice department faces US lawsuit

Federal officials said Tuesday that they filed a discrimination lawsuit against the Puerto Rican Justice Department, accusing it of knowingly relocating an employee in a wheelchair to a building that is not handicapped-accessible.

The complaint states that the woman could not use the restroom during the workday and could not park her car or enter the building without help from others, according to a news release from the U.S. Justice Department.

Officials said the local justice department eventually moved the unidentified employee to a more accessible building after she filed a complaint, but that she is still required to regularly attend lengthy meetings in an inaccessible building.

"The Civil Rights Division is committed to protecting the employment rights of individuals with disabilities, who should not be relegated to working in locations that result in unequal and, in this case, unsafe and undignified working conditions," said Thomas Perez, an assistant attorney general.

Fidel Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Puerto Rican Justice Department, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.