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Press Release 08-30-2023

EEOC Sues Employment & Training Centers, Inc. for Disability Discrimination

Recruiting Company Refused to Provide Reasonable Accommodation to a Disabled Job Applicant, Federal Agency Charges

HOUSTON – Employment & Training Centers, Inc. violated federal law by refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation for an individual applying for a data entry position in its Houston office, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Employment & Training Centers, Inc. interviewed an applicant with an end-stage renal disease and made a conditional offer of employment to the applicant, subject to the applicant passing a drug screen. The applicant informed the company that because of his disability he could not produce urine and requested an alternative method of drug screening. The company rejected his request and said they could not provide a reasonable accommodation as no alternate test was available. The company then rescinded the conditional job offer. However, internal records revealed that one or more alternative testing methods were available.

Such conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Employment & Training Centers, Inc., Civil Action No. 4:23-cv-03201) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through the agency’s administrative conciliation process.

“When a reasonable accommodation exists and does not pose an undue hardship on an employer, the employer cannot refuse to grant the accommodation request simply because it might pose a minor inconvenience,” said Rayford O. Irvin, district director of the EEOC Houston District Office.

EEOC Houston District Office Trial Attorney Lloyd van Oostenrijk said, “Companies must live up to their responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees who need them. The cost of providing an accommodation is often quite low and not difficult for companies to assume.”

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