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EEOC Resolves Discriminatory Failure To Hire Case On Behalf Of Applicant With An Intellectual Disability

Two connected puzzle pieces with the words learning disability

In a press release issued on November 15, 2019, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it has entered into a Consent Decree to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit against Adecco USA, Inc. (Adecco).  On August 28, 2018, the EEOC filed the case, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Adecco USA, Inc., Case No. 1:18-cv-00250, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania after initially attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its statutorily mandated conciliation process.

The EEOC filed the disability discrimination lawsuit pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on behalf of Terry Young (Young).  The ADA protects employees and job applicants from discrimination on the basis of disability.  Under the ADA, individuals who suffer from any mental or psychological disorder, such as an intellectual disability, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities, are disabled within the meaning of the ADA and, thus, protected from disability discrimination by the ADA.  The EEOC claims that Adecco violated the ADA by refusing to hire Young because of his disability.  In this article, our Inverness, Florida employment discrimination lawyers explain the EEOC’s allegations against Adecco and the Consent Decree.

EEOC Claims Unlawful Failure To Hire

Adecco is an employment staffing agency based in Jacksonville, Florida.  Since childhood, Young has had a mental impairment in the form of an intellectual disability which substantially limits him with respect to learning, thinking, and reading.  Young’s intellectual disability, according to the EEOC, constitutes a disability within the meaning of the ADA.

On April 27, 2016, Young went to Adecco’s office in Corry, Pennsylvania to apply for a position working at a production facility in Waterford, Pennsylvania.  Adecco required Young to take several tests that day as part of its application process, including a mathematics test and a behavioral-assessment test.  Before beginning the tests, Young asked Adecco’s representative, a man named Clayton, if there was reading on the tests and told Clayton that he has difficulty with reading comprehension.  Clayton informed Young that there was reading on the tests  Young then asked Clayton if someone could read the tests to him.  Clayton told Young that Adecco personnel would not read the tests to him.

Job Applicant Told He Was “Too Slow”

Young passed the mathematics test.  However, Young failed the behavioral-assessment test.  Clayton told Young that he could retake the behavioral-assessment test.  Young agreed to retake the test and asked Clayton if someone could read it to him.  Clayton then arranged for another Adecco employee to read the test aloud to Young. Young passed the behavioral-assessment test.  In passing the tests, Young was qualified for placement in the Waterford production facility.

After Young finished retaking the behavioral-assessment test, Clayton showed him a short video about the position at the Waterford production facility.  When the video ended, Clayton told Young that he was “too slow” for a position at the Waterford production facility.  Instead, Clayton offered to place Young in a lower-paying car washing position.  After telling Young that he was “too slow,” Adecco offered employment to several individuals who applied for the same position at the Waterford production facility sought by Young.  The EEOC claims that Adecco refused to hire Young for a position at the Waterford production facility because of his intellectual disability.

Consent Decree Resolving Discrimination Case

In the Consent Decree settling the disability discrimination case, which was signed by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Paradise Baxter on November 15, 2019, Adecco agreed to pay Young $49,500 to resolve the case.  In the Consent Decree, Adecco agreed to provide training to all employees at its office in Corry, Pennsylvania on the requirements of the ADA, including training on what constitutes disability discrimination, how to prevent disability discrimination, and hiring procedures that do not discriminate against job applicants because of disabilities.  In the Consent Decree, the EEOC also required Adecco to maintain a record of all complaints alleging disability discrimination, including the name of the complainant, a description of the allegations, the name of the person alleged to have engaged in disability discrimination, and all actions taken by Adecco in response to the complaint.

EEOC Enforces Federal Civil Rights Laws

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 on November 15, 2019 regarding the case, a regional attorney for the EEOC, Debra Lawrence, stated that “just like the rest of the workforce, workers with learning and other mental disabilities provide valuable contributions to their employers and to our national economy, and those workers have a legal right to do so free from discrimination.”

Consultation With Inverness Discrimination Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing employees throughout Central Florida, our Inverness, Florida employment discrimination attorneys have almost two decades of experience representing employment discrimination victims in cases before the EEOC.  If you have experienced disability discrimination in the workplace or have questions about your protection from disability discrimination as an employee or job applicant, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Inverness, Florida employment discrimination lawyers.  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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