Partner Matt Luzadder Quoted in SHRM Article on EEOC Lawsuits

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.”

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