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Press Release 08-29-2018

EEOC Sues Adecco USA For Disability Discrimination

Staffing Agency Refused to Hire Applicant for Desired Position Due to Disability, Federal Agency Charges

PITTSBURGH - Adecco USA, Inc. (Adecco), a staffing agency, violated federal law by refusing to offer a candidate employment at a production facility based on his actual and perceived disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, in April 2016, a worker with learning and other mental disabilities visited Adecco's office in Corry, Pennsylvania, to apply for a food packaging and distribution position with an Adecco customer. The lawsuit further states that when the worker was told he would have to take an employment test, he informed Adecco officials of his difficulty with reading comprehension. The applicant requested that the test be read to him for purposes of test administration, which Adecco initially declined, causing him to fail the test. The lawsuit alleges that Adecco subsequently agreed to retest the disabled worker by reading the test to him and he passed. EEOC charges that an Adecco official then told the disabled worker that he was "too slow" for the production job and instead offered to place the worker in a car-washing job while other applicants were offered the job that the disabled worker sought. EEOC charges that Adecco violated the disabled worker's rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by refusing to hire him for the type of work he desired because of actual and perceived disability.

Such alleged conduct violates the ADA, which prohibits discrimination based on actual and perceived disabilities. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Adecco USA, Inc., Civil Action No.1:18-cv-00250-AJS) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Erie Division, after first attempting to reach a prelitigation settlement through its conciliation process.

"Individuals with disabilities continue to face needless, discriminatory obstacles to full participation in the American workplace," said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence. "The ADA requires that employers and staffing agencies refrain from excluding individuals with disabilities from job opportunities on the basis of their disabilities, whether such exclusions are based on bigotry, stereotypes, myths and unwarranted fears, or unintended barriers to employment of disabled workers."

Pittsburgh Area Office Director Roosevelt Bryant said, "Securing the right of persons with disabilities to fully participate in all aspects of society is the ADA's highest purpose. The EEOC is committed to vindicating the right of all individuals with disabilities to participate in the workforce on an equal footing with their nondisabled peers in all terms, conditions, and privileges of employment."

The lawsuit was commenced by the EEOC's Pittsburgh Area Office, one of four component offices of the EEOC's Philadelphia District Office. The Philadelphia District Office has jurisdiction over Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys in the 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 Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.