ADA in the News December 4, 2017

AccentCare to Pay $25,000 To Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

AccentCare, Inc., a home healthcare company headquartered in Dallas, has agreed to pay $25,000 and provide other significant relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The EEOC charged in its suit that AccentCare discriminated against an employee with bipolar disorder.

According to the EEOC's suit, an AccentCare IT analyst informed the company that she has bipolar disorder and requested leave in order to see her health care provider. The EEOC further said that upon learning of the employee's disability and receiving her request for leave, AccentCare fired her within one day, without giving proper consideration to her request.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which protects employees from discrimination based on their disabilities and requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to employees' disabilities as long as it does not pose an undue hardship. The EEOC sued in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (Civil Action No. 3:15-cv-03157) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Under the terms of the consent decree settling the case, AccentCare, Inc. will pay $25,000 in monetary relief to the former IT analyst. AccentCare also agreed to post a notice about the settlement, and to provide training for employees on the ADA to include instruction on the specific provisions of the reasonable accommodation process. The training will include an instruction advising managers and supervisors of the potential consequences for violations of the ADA. Additionally, AccentCare has agreed to document complaints of disability discrimination and report to the EEOC.

Hulu is Getting Sued by Its Customers, but Why?

TVOvermind

At the moment, Hulu is facing a lawsuit that could have a significant impact on how it will provide its customers with its services in the future. For those who are curious, the lawsuit was filed by a blind couple, the Bay State Council of the Blind, and the American Council of the Blind. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that the lawsuit concerns Hulu’s treatment of people with visual impairments.

Transport for all: The city transit network must do right by people with disabilities who use wheelchairs

New York Daily News

This, the most populous city in America, is the only place in the country where a majority of people don’t have cars — which means most of the 8 million New Yorkers move about using government-owned subways, buses and government-regulated for-hire vehicles, from yellow taxis to Uber and the like.

Eternally on the outside looking in are the more than 100,000 among us who rely on wheelchairs.

This, despite the fact that the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, mandating fair treatment for people who can’t get around on two feet, became the law of the land in 1990.

While every local bus is wheelchair accessible, the subways and Ubers are not. Neither are the majority of cabs.

That’s just wrong and counter to the spirit, if not the letter, of the law. The public agencies that oversee our public transit system, the MTA and the city Taxi and Limousine Commission, would never permit overt discrimination against people due to sex or race or religion or sexual orientation, but it’s the norm for people with disabilities.

Who will stand up for Americans with disabilities?

San Mateo Daily Journal

Editor,

I recently had the pleasure of attending Seniors on the Move. It’s an event I have heard of in the past but never had the opportunity to attend. My organization, Center For Independence of Independence of Individuals with Disabilities, was amongst the vendors set up to showcase our programs and services to around 700 seniors in attendance.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, provided a legislative update and spoke to how she and other legislators are holding the line against the current administration. My thoughts turned to the bill she has been holding the line on: HR 620, ADA Education and Reform Act. This piece of legislation would roll back the most significant piece of civil rights legislation for people with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Today, businesses have an obligation to make themselves accessible and there is a consequence if they don’t. Under HR 620, however, there would be no consequence, and thus, no incentive to comply with the ADA. It fact, this bill places the heaviest burden on the people it is supposed to protect. It requires the person with a disability who encounters a barrier to send a written notice with the exact provision of the ADA being violated. This bill would then give the business owner 60 days to even acknowledge there is a problem and another 120 days to fix it. No other civil rights group is currently expected to wait 180 days to enforce their civil rights. Why should we? Representative Speier prides herself on standing up for minorities. Why not people with disabilities? 

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