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EEOC Files Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Where Employer Refused To Hire Deaf Job Applicant

Hearing Aid

In a press release issued on October 2, 2019, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against Conduent Business Services, LLC (Conduent) pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The ADA makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against any individual with respect to the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment on the basis of disability.  The protection against disability discrimination extends to all employees and applicants for employment.

Job Applicant Claims Unlawful Discrimination

On October 1, 2019, the EEOC filed the disability discrimination lawsuit, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Conduent Business Services, LLC, Case No. 2:19-cv-18541, in the U.S. District Court for New Jersey after initially attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its statutorily mandated conciliation process.  The EEOC has brought the disability discrimination lawsuit on behalf of Joaquin Brenes (Brenes).  The EEOC claims that Conduent violated the ADA by failing to interview and ultimately hire Brenes because of his disability.  In this article, our Gainesville, Florida employment discrimination lawyers explain the EEOC’s allegations against Conduent.

EEOC Alleges Discriminatory Failure To Hire

Conduent is a technology-based business services company in Florham, New Jersey. Brenes, who is deaf, is an individual with a disability within the meaning of the ADA. Brenes applied for employment with Conduent through a recruiting firm.  Before March 13, 2018, after reviewing Brenes’ resume and qualifications for the position he applied for, Conduent selected Brenes for an interview.  On March 13, 2018, the recruiting firm proposed a date for Brenes’ interview.  On March 19, 2018, the recruiting firm notified Conduent that Brenes is hearing impaired and would require an American Sign Language interpreter for his interview.  Upon learning of Brenes’ disability, according to the EEOC, Conduent eliminated him from further consideration.  Conduent never interviewed Brenes, nor did it hire him.  Conduent ultimately hired other non-hearing-impaired applicants.  The EEOC claims that the reason Conduent failed to interview and ultimately hire Brenes was because of his disability.

EEOC Fights Employment Discrimination

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the United States responsible for interpreting and enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  In enforcing the federal anti-discrimination laws, the EEOC is also authorized by federal law to bring lawsuits on behalf of victims of disability discrimination.  In a press release issued by the EEOC regarding the case, a Regional Attorney for the EEOC’s New York District Office, Jeffrey Burstein, stated that “qualified individuals with a disability deserve a fair and equal opportunity to be considered for employment.”  “When an employer learns that an applicant whom it is interviewing is hearing impaired or deaf,” Mr. Burstein explained, “the employer should work with the applicant to determine if an [American Sign Language] interpreter or another accommodation is needed for the interview.”  “To simply end the interview process,” Mr. Burstein added, “and eliminate the applicant from further consideration violates federal law.”  In commenting on the case, the Director of the EEOC’s New York District Office, Kevin Berry, stated that “removing barriers in the hiring process that discriminate against protected classes, including individuals with disabilities, is a national priority for the EEOC.”

Consultation With Gainesville Discrimination Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Gainesville, Florida employment discrimination lawyers have represented employment discrimination victims in hundreds of cases before the EEOC.  If you have experienced discrimination in the workplace or have questions about your rights under the federal anti-discrimination laws, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Gainesville, Florida employment discrimination attorneys.  Our employment and labor law attorneys take 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.

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