Press Release 03-24-2020

EEOC and California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) Conciliate Disability Discrimination Charge

State Agency Denied Hire to an Applicant Due to Hearing Loss, Federal Agency Charged

FRESNO, Calif. - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) announced today the successful conciliation of a charge filed with the agency under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC reached a voluntary agreement with the employer through the agency's conciliation process following its investigative findings. CALPIA has not admitted to any wrongdoing or fault in violation of the statute. CALPIA has waived confidentiality regarding the disclosure of the terms.

Following an investigation by the Fresno EEOC office, the EEOC found that the state agency violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to hire the complainant for a permanent full-time position because of his disability or perceived disability. The EEOC further charged that retaliation for engaging in a protected activity was also a factor in the denial of hire.

In addition to the monetary relief of $30,000 to compensate the complainant, the two-year agreement also includes other forms of relief aimed at preventing future disability discrimination. CALPIA has agreed to provide training to all employees to ensure compliance with the ADA, post notices in areas visible to all employees, and consent to a two-year monitoring period.

"We commend CALPIA for its commitment to the ADA and for agreeing to comprehensive remedies," said Rosa Viramontes, director of the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office. "We encourage all employers, both private and public, to follow suit and review their anti-discrimination policies and practices to ensure they are in compliance with federal law."

Melissa Barrios, director of the EEOC's Fresno Local Office, added, "Discrimination on the basis of disability in the employment process will not be tolerated and the EEOC will do everything in its power to eliminate such occurrences.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ­ment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.