CHICAGO (AP) — Supervalu Inc., the Minnesota-based parent of the Chicago-based Jewel-Osco supermarkets and drugstores, has agreed to pay $3.2 million to settle a federal discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of disabled employees.

Supervalu officials denied wrongdoing in the consent decree signed Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Guzman.

Supervalu spokeswoman Karen May tells the Chicago Sun-Times that the company settled in order to avoid future litigation costs.

The lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged Jewel-Osco fired employees with disabilities at the end of their medical leaves, rather than bringing them back to work with reasonable accommodations.

The EEOC says some 1,000 Chicago-area employees were fired, but only 110 fit legal criteria to share in the settlement, which will give them an average award of $29,000 apiece.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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