ADA in the News October 4, 2022

Justice Department Resolves Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Against Housing Authority of New Orleans Properties []

The Department of Justice announced that the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) and seven private developers have agreed to pay $250,000 to settle claims that they violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to design and construct eight multifamily residential properties and associated places of public accommodation so that they are accessible to persons with disabilities. As part of the settlement, the defendants also agreed to make extensive retrofits to remove accessibility barriers at the properties.

The settlement, which must be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, requires the defendants to pay all costs related to the retrofits, provide $200,000 for a settlement fund to compensate individuals harmed by the inaccessible housing, and pay a civil penalty of $50,000 to the federal government.


Justice Department Finds Minnesota Department of Corrections Violates Rights of Incarcerated Individuals with Disabilities []

On Sept. 30, 2022, the Justice Department found that the Minnesota Department of Corrections (MNDOC) violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by denying incarcerated individuals with disabilities enrolled in its General Educational Development (GED) program opportunities to apply for and receive needed modifications on the GED exam. The MNDOC offers GED preparation courses and practice tests and administers the GED exam inside all of its adult prison facilities. The letter of findings asks the MNDOC to work with the department to resolve the civil rights violations identified during its investigation.


EEOC Sues Tractor Supply Company for Disability Discrimination []

Hattiesburg, Mississippi-based Tractor Supply Company violated federal law and the civil rights of an employee with a disability when it publicized her confidential medical information, subjected her to a hostile work environment, disciplined her without justification, and ultimately fired her, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed yesterday.

The employee was born with a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, which is a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Tractor Supply Company learned about the employee’s disability because its Laurel, Mississippi store manager persistently questioned her to explain why she could not work a certain shift, which conflicted with a prescheduled medical appointment for her disability. The repeated questioning forced the employee to disclose her confidential medical information.


EEOC Sues Omaha Hospitality Group for Disability Discrimination []

Operators of an Omaha hotel violated federal law when they fired a general manager after being hospitalized for depression, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the suit, the manager worked at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, which is owned and operated by Anant Enterprises, Anant Operations, and Farnam Lodging. He advised the companies’ human resources official in the fall of 2019 that he was going to miss work because he was experiencing depressive symptoms including anger, frustration, and thoughts of self-harm without any apparent trigger, and needed to go to the hospital for treatment. Two days later, before the manager was discharged from the hospital, a company representative told him he was being fired because they were afraid he might hurt other people.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination based on disability.


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