The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE              CONTACT:   James R. Neely, Jr.
May 24, 1996                                  District Director
                                              (313) 226-7639
                                              TDD: (313) 226-7599
                                              Adele Rapport
                                              (313) 226-6701



DETROIT -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the filing of a disability discrimination lawsuit against The Hertz Corporation. The lawsuit is the first filed by EEOC under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on behalf of individuals with mental retardation.

The lawsuit alleges that The Hertz Corporation discriminated against Donald Klem and Kenneth Miller, both developmentally disabled individuals. The suit states Hertz failed to provide Mr. Klem and Mr. Miller with a reasonable accommodation and then discharged them on the basis of their disability.

As part of the relief sought, EEOC will ask the court to permanently enjoin Hertz from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. The Commission is also asking that Hertz reinstate Klem and Miller, and pay backpay, compensatory, and punitive damages in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1991. That Act allows recovery of up to $300,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, plus full backpay for each individual.

This is the first ADA case filed by EEOC involving individuals with developmental disabilities. The ADA, which went into effect on July 26, 1992, prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. The ADA also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of individuals with disabilities, unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business.

In announcing the filing of the lawsuit today, EEOC Commissioner Paul Steven Miller said, "In addition to redressing the discrimination suffered by Mr. Klem and Mr. Miller, this lawsuit demonstrates EEOC's commitment to enforcing compliance with the ADA on behalf of people with mental retardation who are qualified for employment."

Commissioner Miller was appointed to serve on the Commission in 1994 by President Clinton. Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Miller was the Deputy Director of the United States Office of Consumer Affairs and the White House liaison to the disability community.

Along with enforcing the ADA, EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Equal Pay Act; prohibitions against discrimination affecting individuals with disabilities in the federal government; and sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

This page was last modified on January 15, 1997.

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