CampusPoint Corp., a Washington state-based staffing agency, and Viewpoint Inc., a construction software developer, will pay $225,000 and provide significant affirmative relief to settle a lawsuit alleging disability discrimination, according to an announcement made Wednesday by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
According to EEOC, CampusPoint, which has offices in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, and Viewpoint rejected an applicant they had shortlisted for an analyst position after he requested an ASL interpreter for a group interview. The companies falsely assumed that he would also need a full-time interpreter to shadow him if hired, the EEOC said, and instead of considering available accommodations or discussing the issue with the applicant, the companies rejected him because of his disability.
Rejecting a qualified applicant due to disability or for requesting an accommodation during the hiring process or to perform the job violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“This case was a classic example of employers succumbing to stereotypes and fears about how a disability might limit performance rather than focusing on the applicant’s actual capabilities,” said EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Teri Healy.
In addition to providing the applicant $225,000 in monetary relief, the four-year consent decree requires the defendants to implement ADA policies, including the comprehensive evaluation of available accommodations for the hiring process as well as on the job. The companies will also revise their online application website; provide equal employment opportunity training to all managers and employees with particular attention to accommodating deaf and hard-of-hearing applicants and employees; incorporate provisions in staffing agency contracts requiring compliance with the ADA and provide regular reports to the EEOC.
“We are encouraged by the companies’ agreement to take steps to make their workplaces more inclusive and hope this suit reminds all employers of their legal obligations under the ADA,” Healy said.