Company Refused to Hire Man with Cerebral Palsy for Sales Job, Federal Agency Charged
BIG STONE GAP, Va. —Advance Stores Company, Inc., doing business as Advance Auto Parts, will pay $50,000 and provide other affirmative relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Advance Auto Parts refused to hire Jeffrey Scott Sanders in September 2004 because he has cerebral palsy. Sanders had applied for a part-time sales position at an Advance Auto Parts retail store in Norton, Va. The EEOC said that Sanders had successfully completed an internship as a salesperson at Advance Auto’s Staunton, Va., store through a training program in which he participated. The EEOC further charged that despite Sanders’ qualifications and experience obtained through the internship, Advance Auto did not hire him but did hire at least one other person who was less qualified than Sanders.
Failing or refusing to hire an individual because he or she has a disability violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement (EEOC v. Advance Stores Company, Inc. d/b/a Advance Auto Parts, Civil Action 02-08CV00011).
In addition to the monetary relief to be paid to Sanders, as part of the settlement, Advance Auto agreed to provide training on an annual basis to all of its managers, supervisors, and employees in its Norton, Va., store; post an employee notice regarding this settlement; and report any allegations of disability discrimination by job applicants at the company’s Norton location to the EEOC.
“Federal law prohibits employers from taking discriminatory employment actions based on myths, stereotypes or assumptions about an individual’s disability, rather than the person’s actual ability to perform the job,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District Office, whose jurisdiction includes most of Virginia.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.