ADA in the News February 23, 2023

Minnesota Department of Corrections Agrees to End Discrimination Against People with Disabilities in its GED Education Program

The Justice Department announced today that it filed a complaint and proposed consent decree with the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to resolve allegations that the Minnesota Department of Corrections (MNDOC) violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The department previously found that the MNDOC discriminated against incarcerated individuals with disabilities enrolled in its General Educational Development (GED) program by denying individuals with disabilities opportunities to apply for or receive needed modifications on the GED exam, courses or practice tests, such as extended time and frequent breaks. The proposed consent decree will provide damages to harmed individuals and requires the MNDOC to make changes to end this discrimination.


Justice Department Secures Agreement with Alaska School District Concerning Discriminatory Seclusion and Restraint Practices

The Justice Department announced today a settlement agreement with the Anchorage School District in Anchorage, Alaska, to address the discriminatory use of seclusion and restraint against students with disabilities. The settlement, which resolves the department’s investigation under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), will protect students with disabilities by eliminating seclusion and prohibiting discriminatory restraints.

The department’s investigation concluded that the district repeatedly and inappropriately secluded and restrained students with disabilities in violation of Title II. Despite state law and the district’s own policy, and contrary to generally accepted practice, the district did not limit its use of restraint and seclusion to emergency situations. Rather, the district used restraint and seclusion to address noncompliant student behavior, resulting in students missing large amounts of instructional time.


EEOC Sues United Labor Agency for Disability Discrimination

The United Labor Agency (ULA), a Cleveland-based non-profit that focuses on workforce development, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by discriminating against an employee based on her disability, breast cancer, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in a suit filed today. The ULA denied the employee a reasonable accommodation of temporary remote work and subjected her to intolerable work conditions that resulted in her discharge, the EEOC charged.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, after ULA required its employees to return to in-person work after a long period of COVID-related telework, it denied the employee’s ADA accommodation request to remain on telework for several months while she was undergoing radiation treatments and was immunosuppressed. After being required to return to the office, the employee was repeatedly left off staff emails notifying personnel of COVID-19 exposures, despite her requests to be notified. The employee, who had been with ULA for nearly a decade, was finally forced to resign because of the risk to her health, the EEOC alleged.

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