ADA in the News August 9, 2019

Tamco Professional Coating Services to Pay $90,000 to Resolve EEOC Disability Lawsuit

Tamco Professional Coating Services, Inc. (Tamco) has agreed to pay a foreperson $90,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. Tamco, which is based in Houma, Louisiana, performs sandblasting, painting, soda blasting, pressure washing, water blasting, cleaning, coating, and minor fabrication and repair services. The lawsuit was resolved through a consent decree, which U.S. District Judge Greg Guidry approved on July 26, 2019.

The EEOC's suit alleged that Tamco told the foreperson that its insurance costs would increase because of the foreperson's hearing loss and that, soon after, Tamco fired the foreperson. According to the lawsuit, Tamco discharged the employee without following its own progressive discipline process. This alleged conduct is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which makes it unlawful for an employer to fire an employee because of disability.


EEOC Sues Brookdale Senior Living for Disability Discrimination

Senior living solutions giant, Brookdale Senior Living, Inc., violated federal law by refusing to hire an Indianapolis applicant because of a disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Brookdale offered an applicant a server position at its Brookdale Place at Fall Creek facility, pending medical testing and drug screening. Due to a disability, the applicant could only provide a urine sample via a stoma in her abdomen, which must be catheterized using a quick catheter. Brookdale denied the applicant's request for a reasonable accommodation, subjected her to extensive and invasive questioning about her disability and then rescinded their job offer.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits rejecting a qualified applicant because of a disability or failing to consider reasonable accommodations for applicants with a disability.


Oakland After-School Program Settles EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Educational after-school camp Cooking Round the World (CRW) will pay $3,000 to a former employee and make substantial workplace changes to settle a disa­bility discrim­ination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, a chef educator employed by the camp received a positive test result for an inactive form of tuberculosis (TB) in March 2017. Although the employee provided a doctor's certification permitting her to work in a school environment and as a medical assistant, her employer insisted that she could not continue teaching young children. Instead, CRW offered her fewer hours for less pay working at a recruitment table passing out leaflets promoting its programs.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on a disability or a perceived disability. The EEOC filed suit (CIV# 4:18-cv-05880) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California after an investiga­tion by EEOC Investigator Bryan Hoss and after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.


Northwest Wireless Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination

Northwest Wireless Enterprises, LLC, a Bremerton, WA headquartered, independent retailer of T-Mobile products and services, violated federal law when it stopped accommodating a sales associate with a severe hearing impairment and instead fired her, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in a lawsuit filed today.   

According to EEOC's suit, the employee informed Northwest Wireless about her severe hearing impairment at the time she was hired at the company's Spanaway store in December 2017. However, in April 2018, a new store manager decided he was tired of repeating himself when communicating with her and openly expressed to other employees his desire to fire her. The employee alerted the company owner as well as the district manager in May 2018 that the new store manager wanted to fire her because of her disability. Neither took any action in response to her internal complaint of discrimination. Northwest Wireless fired her on June 29, 2018 for alleged attendance and performance issues without prior warning.


Where the sidewalk ends for disabled New Yorkers

Nearly three decades after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and a quarter-century after a class action lawsuit was filed by the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association against New York City, a New York judge approved a plan July 23 to make all of the city’s sidewalk curbs accessible to wheelchair users within the next 15 years. This was necessary because, as The New York Times wrote in 2017, a federally mandated report “found that the majority of the city’s curb ramps are still not in compliance with federal requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and that the city lacks even a comprehensive survey of all its corners or an adequate plan of action.”

New Yorkers might be wondering why a supposedly progressive city has stood in violation of federal civil rights law for decades – and why it must take another 15 years to retrofit a few feet of concrete at each street corner. An estimated 550,000 city residents have difficulty walking.


DOL's Job Accommodation Network Offers New Online Workplace Disability Accommodation Resources

Employers working to evaluate reasonable accommodations now have additional online resources available. In its recent press release, the DOL has announced a new publicly available resource for employers and employees alike – a Workplace Accommodation Toolkit developed by its Office of Disability Employment Policy-sponsored Job Accommodation Network (JAN).

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