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PRESS RELEASE
9-5-14

Holly Manor Center Nursing Home Pays $75,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Nursing Home Rescinded Offer to Hire Qualified Applicant Because He Is Deaf, Federal Agency Charged

NEWARK, N.J. - A Mendham, N.J., nursing home will pay $75,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to resolve a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.  The EEOC had charged Holly Manor Center Nursing Home with unlawfully rescinding a job offer to an applicant because he is deaf.

According to the EEOC's suit  (EEOC v. Genesis HealthCare, LLC, et al, Civil Action No. 2:14-cv-00316), Stefan Denisiuk, who is deaf, interviewed at Holly Manor for an available dietary aide/assistant cook position, and was told after the interview that he was hired.  But a few weeks later, Holly Manor required Denisiuk to undergo a second interview with different managers, who grilled him about his ability to communicate, and ultimately rejected his application because of his hearing impairment.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from refusing to hire a qualified individual because he or she is disabled.  The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. 

Under the consent decree settling the suit, approved by U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares, in addition to the monetary relief for Denisiuk, Holly Manor agreed to change its job descriptions for the positions at issue to ensure that applicants with hearing disabilities will be fully considered for job openings so long as they are qualified.  The company also will provide training on the ADA to its managers and human resources personnel.

"This case sends a message that is at the heart of the ADA: job applicants with disabilities should be judged on their ability to do the job and should not be rejected based on preconceived, unfounded notions about their limitations," said Robert D. Rose, regional attorney of the EEOC's New York District Office.

Jeffrey Burstein, supervisory trial attorney in the EEOC's Newark Area Office, added, "We are pleased that Holly Manor worked with us to resolve this matter at an early stage of the litigation, committing to prevent disability discrimination in its hiring decisions in the future and agreeing to compensate Mr. Denisiuk for the injustice he suffered." 

Holly Manor Center Nursing Home is part of Genesis HealthCare, LLC, a nationwide health care provider.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment.  Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov. The New York District Office oversees New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and most of New Jersey.