November 12, 2020
Partner Matt Luzadder was quoted in the SHRM article, "Employers Sued for Rejecting Hearing-Impaired Job Applicants". The article discusses two recent lawsuits filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The EEOC sued a Subway sandwich shop franchise in Bloomington, Ind., for rejecting a qualified, hard-of-hearing applicant for a sandwich-maker position by citing "a communication concern" due to the applicant's "hearing and speaking." The agency said that conduct violated the ADA, which prohibits employment discrimination based on disability.
In another case, Dollar Tree Distribution, a subsidiary of retailer Dollar Tree, Inc., was sued by the EEOC for failing to accommodate or hire a deaf applicant for an entry-level warehouse job in Ridgefield, Wash. Under the ADA, it is illegal to ignore a deaf or hearing-impaired applicant's request for an accommodation or to refuse to hire an applicant because of a disability.
Employers must make reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants with disabilities to enable them to perform the essential functions of their jobs, said Luzadder. He added that "a reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a job, work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables a qualified applicant with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity. The ADA applies to all aspects of recruiting and hiring, including job advertisements, applications, interviews and post-offer medical examinations."
To read the full article, click here. Access may require a subscription.