Home Care Company Refused to Hire Home Caregiver It Perceived as Disabled, Federal Agency Said
BALTIMORE - M&R Consulting, LLC, a Towson, Md.,-based home care agency doing business as Home Instead Senior Care, will pay $40,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to settle an EEOC disability discrimination lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), announced today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, M&R Consulting conditionally hired a qualified applicant for a caregiving position in Towson, subject to her passing pre-employment requirements, including a skin test for tuberculosis. M&R Consulting wrongfully rescinded her offer of employment as a home caregiver based on the skin test because it regarded her as having tuberculosis, even though the applicant later submitted a chest x-ray which confirmed she did not have tuberculosis.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination due to disability or a perceived disability. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. M&R Consulting, LLC, Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-01638-ELH) in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary, pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to the $40,000 in lost wages and compensatory damages to the applicant, the two-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit provides significant equitable relief, including prohibiting M&R Consulting from violating the ADA. M&R Consulting will revise its hiring procedures and provide ADA-compliant steps to determine whether an individual has active or latent tuberculosis. M&R Consulting shall revise its post-offer testing forms to clearly state that applicants shall not be excluded from employment simply due to receiving a positive purified protein derivative skin test. The company will provide ADA training to all human resources personnel and all personnel who are involved with the pre-employment drug screening process and hiring process. M&R Consulting will report to the EEOC on how it handles any future complaints of disability discrimination and will also post a notice regarding the settlement.
EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence said, "We commend M&R Consulting for working with us to resolve this lawsuit expeditiously and for agreeing to provide appropriate monetary relief to the applicant and meaningful policy changes designed to prevent disability discrimination."
"The EEOC is committed to preventing and remedying disability discrimination. We appreciate M&R Consulting's willingness to work with us to resolve this matter amicably," said Jamie R. Williamson, district director of the EEOC's Philadelphia District Office.
Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, women, and people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP). Addressing emerging and developing issues in equal employment law, including issues involving the ADA, is another SEP priority.
The EEOC's Baltimore Field Office is one of four offices in the EEOC Philadelphia District Office, which has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys in the EEOC Philadelphia District Office also prosecute discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.
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.