Company Failed to Hire Qualified Job Applicant Because He is Deaf, Federal Agency Charged
MIAMI - USA Parking System, Inc., a parking services company primarily in the hospitality industry, violated federal law by failing to hire a qualified valet attendant because of his disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC's suit, Kareem E. Dore applied for a valet attendant position in October 2014. USA Parking interviewed Mr. Dore twice, initially at the Four Seasons Hotel in Brickell and again at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Miami Beach. For his first interview, USA Parking gave Mr. Dore a perfunctory meeting, while the non-deaf candidates had lengthier, in-depth interviews. During his second interview, the interviewer initially refused to accommodate Mr. Dore's request to conduct the interview in writing. Although Mr. Dore affirmed his ability to do the valet attendant job and explained his abilities, the interviewer abruptly concluded the interview, noting that Mr. Dore had communication difficulties in his speech and would not be able to hear a car behind him. USA Parking subsequently informed Mr. Dore that he was "not suitable for the job" and later hired a non-deaf candidate instead.
Failure to hire because of a disability and failure to conduct an individual assessment of the disabled individuals' ability to perform the job violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. USA Parking System, Inc., Case No.1:18-cv-23984) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida only after exhausting its conciliation efforts to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement. The agency is seeking back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for Mr. Dore, as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent any further discriminatory practices.
"The ADA requires that people with disabilities be evaluated on their ability to perform the essential functions of the job-not on stereotypes or appearances," said Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for the EEOC's Miami District Office.
Michael Farrell, director of the EEOC's Miami District Office, added, "An employer cannot assume an otherwise qualified candidate is incapable of performing the job based on an applicant's disability without assessing whether the candidate can do the job with or without a reasonable accommodation."
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.