ADA in the News March 3, 2021

Johnson & Johnson worker fired 4 weeks after leave alleges bias

An IT professional for Johnson & Johnson has alleged that the company fired him when he returned from medical leave based on his disability and age (Pultorak v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson, No. 3:21-cv-01947 (D.N.J., Feb. 5, 2021)).


Optimal Solutions & Technologies Will Pay $60,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Optimal Solutions & Technologies, Inc. (OST), a provider of cyber, engineering, logistics and managed services, will pay $60,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to resolve a federal disability discrimination suit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, a senior SharePoint administrator working at OST's Hyattsville, Md., facility informed his supervisor that he had a benign brain tumor which would require about six weeks of radiation treatment, and that the treatments, which would be scheduled after work, would not affect his ability to perform his job. The EEOC charged that despite his good job performance, OST abruptly fired the administrator about one month after he disclosed his medical condition and only one week before he was scheduled to begin his radiation treatment.

2020 Marked 7-Year High Unemployment Rate for People with Disabilities

Fewer U.S. persons with a disability were employed in 2020 with a total employment rate of 17.9%, down from 19.3% in 2019, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The agency's data show a clear decline in employment for persons with a disability, though HR industry observers have noted that the pandemic may also have created some positive changes for this category of job seekers.

Accessibility to job opportunities has long been a challenge for individuals with disabilities. However, due to public health measures taken to limit the spread of COVID-19, many employers adopted hiring processes that are mostly or entirely virtual. Moreover, that adoption is expected to continue well into 2021. Combined with other measures to reduce bias in the hiring process, this change could vastly improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities, according to sources who spoke to HR Dive last year.

Senator Tammy Duckworth Calls for Accessible FDR Memorial

It’s been 20 years since disability advocates won the fight to have the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. depict the former president in a wheelchair at the site. But they say there is more work to do to make the space fully accessible to all people with disabilities and serve as the “monument to freedom” that former President Bill Clinton said it would be upon the statue’s dedication.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth on Tuesday will introduce a resolution with D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton calling on the National Park Service to improve the memorial’s accessibility to blind and low-vision visitors and to create accessible education materials about the site’s history.

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