Disabled Job Applicant Unlawfully Denied Employment EEOC Discrimination Lawsuit Charges
In a press release issued on August 20, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against Crothall Healthcare, Inc. (Crothall). On August 20, 2020, the EEOC filed the lawsuit, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Crothall Healthcare, Inc., Case No. 4:20-cv-190, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia after initially trying to correct the alleged unlawful employment practices through conciliation. Unable to resolve the case through conciliation, the EEOC elected to address the alleged unlawful employment practices by filing the lawsuit.
The EEOC has filed the disability discrimination lawsuit pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on behalf of an individual who applied for employment with Crothall, Billy Pack (Pack). The ADA protects job applicants and employees from discrimination on the basis of disability. Under the ADA, employers are also required to provide job applicants and employees with reasonable accommodations for their disability. The EEOC contends that Crothall discriminated against Pack in violation of the ADA when it denied him employment because of his disability. In this article, our Marion County, Florida employment rights lawyers explain the EEOC’s allegations of disability discrimination against Crothall.
EEOC Alleges Violation Of Employee Rights
The EEOC claims that Pack is a qualified individual with a disability because he suffers from cerebral palsy and deafness. On September 15, 2017, Pack applied for a laundry services worker position at Crothall’s facility in Rome, Georgia. Crothall provides laundry and linen services to hospitals. The plant manager of the facility invited Pack to the facility for an on-site interview. On September 25, 2017, Pack arrived for the interview with a sign language interpreter. The manager conducting Pack’s interview and plant tour noticed Pack’s leg braces and ambulatory aids, and asked Pack how “he could work standing up for so long?” Pack responded that he would need to be provided with a stool if he were hired, which would allow him to work from a seated position if necessary. During the interview and tour, Pack expressed his interest in the position and attempted to give his resume to the manager conducting the interview, but the manager would not accept a copy of the resume.
According to the EEOC, Crothall’s typical practice is to offer applicants employment at the conclusion of the interview and plant tour, if the applicant represents that he or she is able to perform the position and is still interested in the position, and the applicant would begin work the following day. Pack was not offered employment at the end of his interview. Consequently, Pack attempted to call Crothall to inquire about the status of his employment application on September 28, 2017 and throughout early October 2017.
Discriminatory Failure To Hire Claimed
On October 12, 2017, Pack’s job coach through the Georgia Commission for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing contacted the plant manager on Pack’s behalf. The plant manager subsequently requested, through Pack’s job coach, that Pack participate in a video conference. The plant manager and a video interpreter participated in the video conference with Pack on October 16, 2017. The plant manager asked Pack questions about whether he could perform the physical duties of the job, and also about the requested stool, including who had purchased a stool for Pack in his previous employment. Pack confirmed that he could perform the physical duties, and explained that his previous employer had purchased a stool for him to use at work.
The plant manager called Pack on October 19, 2017 and left a message that if hired, Crothall could not pay him its normal rate for the laundry services position, but that all positions had been filled. One week later, the plant manager by email and voice mail and told Pack that the position for which Pack applied had been filled, and that the company would send Pack a request to apply when it opened a new requisition for the position. The company never contacted Pack again.
Although Crothall claimed that it filled the position for which Pack applied, the company hired more than eighty non-disabled laundry services workers between September 2017 and May 2018. The EEOC further claims that a requisition for the laundry services worker position at the Rome facility was open from September 26, 2017 through November 10, 2017. Based on this evidence, the EEOC contends that Crothall refused to hire Pack because of his disability in violation of the ADA.
Fighting For Employment Rights
The EEOC is the administrative agency of the United States responsible for interpreting and enforcing federal employment laws making disability discrimination an unlawful employment practice. As part of its enforcement machinery, the EEOC is authorized to file lawsuits on behalf of victims of unlawful employment discrimination. In a press release issued by the EEOC on August 20, 2020 regarding the case, the acting regional attorney for the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office, Robert Weisberg, explained that “an employer cannot legally refuse to hire a qualified applicant because of his disability.” “The EEOC is here,” Mr. Weisberg added, “to vindicate the rights of victims of employment discrimination.” In commenting on the case, the Director of the EEOC’s Atlanta District Office, Darrell Graham, stated that “employers may not deny an employment opportunity to a qualified position with a disability based on unfounded assumptions.”
Consult With Ocala, FL Employment Rights Lawyers
Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Marion County, Florida employment rights attorneys have litigated employment law cases in Florida courts for more than two decades. If you are a victim of unlawful employment discrimination or have questions about your protection against discrimination in the workplace under the federal employment laws, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Ocala, Florida employment rights lawyers. Our employee rights law firm takes employment discrimination cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.