Company Failed to Provide Interpreter for Hearing-Impaired Employee, Federal Agency Charges
MIAMI -- The Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation, Inc. (FINR) violated federal law when it denied a job to a hearing-impaired person because of her disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed yesterday.
The EEOC’s suit, Case No. 8:09cv716-T23MAP, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Tampa Division), said FINR refused to provide an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter to assist a female housekeeping worker through her training period. As a result, the EEOC said, she could not complete the training and lost the job.
Disability discrimination violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees’ disabilities as long as this does not pose an undue hardship on the business.
“Employers should remember that people with disabilities are an untapped pool of talent who are ready, willing and able to work; often, all they need is an equal opportunity,” said the EEOC Miami District Director Jacqueline McNair.
EEOC Regional Attorney Nora Curtin added, “The ADA applies to employees and applicants at all phases of employment. The FINR’s refusal to make the minimal accommodation of an interpreter resulted in this woman’s losing her job.”
ADA charge filings with the EEOC nationwide increased 10% in Fiscal Year 2008 to 19,543, the highest level of disability discrimination charges since FY 1995.
FINR has over 500 employees and provides rehabilitation, education, and vocational services to individuals with brain injuries.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.
This page was last modified on April 16, 2009.
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