Court Rules Video Phone and Online Interpretation Services Provides Reasonable Accommodation for Deaf Costco Employee

For twenty-four years Christin D’Onfrio, who is deaf, worked for Costco with no problems communicating with her managers. When the Costco in South Florida where she worked hired a manager who mumbled, D’Onfrio requested an interpreter or to have communications written down. The store provided her a video phone with online interpretation services. She was written up for yelling into the phone then suspended and later terminated. Jurors awarded her $750K for mental anguish and $25K in punitive damages when she sued the company. A U.S. District Judge overturned the verdict. His ruling was upheld by the Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider the case.