Posts Tagged ‘disabled applicants’

Bad Reception: EEOC Sues Cell Phone Co. for Refusing to Hire Hearing-Impaired Applicants

Employers have to make reasonable accommodation for applicants’ disability during the interview and orientation stages. That may seem obvious, but it has become the focal point of an Americans With Disabilities Act lawsuit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed today against a cell phone company repair facility located in Fort Worth, Texas.

According to the EEOC, S&B Industry Inc. denied two hearing-impaired applicants a reasonable accommodation during the hiring process. During the hiring and orientation, the applicants used American Sign Language to communicate with each other, the EEOC said. The company realized the pair were hearing-impaired.

But here’s where things went awry, according to the EEOC:

“In a meeting with one of the supervisors, Baker and Rice requested that she provide written information about the positions for which they were applying.  The supervisor initially complied, but then refused to continue writing information for Baker and Rice, thereby refusing to provide them with a reason­able accommodation.  Baker and Rice were told that S&B Industry would not hire them, and their badges were confiscated.”

Said EEOC senior trial attorney Joel Clark, “Managers refused to discuss these applicants’ reasonable requests for accommodation, but instead just assumed they could not do the job.  The ADA was enacted to prevent that kind of misguided, fear-driven reaction.”

Read more about the suit.