Under federal law, employers are forbidden from discriminating against disabled employees or job applicants. The Americans with Disabilities Act also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to make it so a person with a disability can successfully perform the job duties.
Recently, a Dallas, Texas, employer agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed against it by the U .S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC brought suit against Stevens Transport on behalf of a disabled job applicant who was denied two management positions based on his disability alone.
According to the lawsuit, the refrigerated transport company first interviewed the applicant over the phone. The interview was successful so the applicant was brought in for an in-person interview. Upon meeting the applicant in person, company personnel realized that the applicant was a paraplegic as the result of a 2003 car accident.
Despite having a bachelor’s degree in economics and management and a master’s degree in business administration, the applicant was not hired for either of the two open management positions. At the in-person interview, he was told there was concern that his disability would get in the way of the job demands.
Knowing that he was qualified but denied a position because of his disability, the applicant filed a complaint with the EEOC, which conducted an investigation. An EEOC spokesman said the treatment was in “clear violation” of the Americans with Disabilities Act, so the EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Stevens Transport recently agreed to pay the applicant $50,000 and abide by other terms to settle the disability discrimination lawsuit. As you can see, disability discrimination is not taken lightly in the state of Texas. If you have been denied a job opportunity based on a disability, know that your employer may be in violation of the law.
Source: EEOC Newsroom, “Stevens Transport to Pay $50,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit,” June 8, 2012