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Press Release 08-07-2019

EEOC Sues Brookdale Senior Living for Disability Discrimination

Senior Living Provider Rescinded Employment Offer and Refused to Accommodate Applicant With a Disability, Federal Agency Charges

 INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Senior living solutions giant, Brookdale Senior Living, Inc., violated federal law by refusing to hire an Indianapolis applicant because of a disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Brookdale offered an applicant a server position at its Brookdale Place at Fall Creek facility, pending medical testing and drug screening. Due to a disability, the applicant could only provide a urine sample via a stoma in her abdomen, which must be catheterized using a quick catheter. Brookdale denied the applicant's request for a reasonable accommodation, subjected her to extensive and invasive questioning about her disability and then rescinded their job offer.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits rejecting a qualified applicant because of a disability or failing to consider reasonable accommodations for applicants with a disability.

The EEOC filed suit (Case No. 1:19-cv-3331 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.

The agency is seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages against Brookdale as well as other relief, including a permanent injunction to prevent the company from engaging in future disability discrimination in the hiring process. 

"The EEOC is committed to enforcing the ADA and removing barriers for employment of qualified applicants with disabilities," said Michelle Eisele, district director for the EEOC's Indianapolis District Office "The EEOC will not turn a blind eye to an employer who chooses not to engage in the interactive process and instead rescinds a job offer to a qualified applicant with a disability," said Kenneth L. Bird, Indianapolis District Office regional attorney.

The Indianapolis District Office of the EEOC oversees Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and parts of Ohio.

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