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Press Release 08-23-2021

EEOC Sues Elwood Staffing Services for Disability Discrimination

Staffing Company Discriminated Against an Applicant With One Hand, Federal Agency Charges

OREM, Utah – Elwood Staffing Services, Inc., a nationwide staffing company with a location in Orem, Utah, violated federal law when it did not hire a qualified applicant because of her disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged in a lawsuit filed on Friday.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Elwood Staffing did not hire an applicant for a warehouse position because the applicant does not have a left hand. The EEOC said that the applicant sought work with Elwood Staffing and then received a conditional job offer for work as a product assembler for one of Elwood Staffing’s clients. Elwood Staffing chose not to administer one of two pre-placement tests to the applicant because the applicant does not have a left hand. Further, the EEOC said, Elwood Staffing failed to consider or provide any reasonable accommodations to the applicant before it chose not to hire her because of her disability and/or her need for an accommodation.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division (EEOC v. Elwood Staffing Services, Inc., Case No. 2:21-cv-00498-JCB ) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

“Employers cannot refuse to hire applicants with physical impairments because of assumptions about what they cannot do,” said EEOC Phoenix District Office Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill. “Employers should always engage in an interactive process – which is required by federal law – to determine if a reasonable accommodation is available before making an employment decision based on an applicant’s or employee’s disability or need for accommodation.”

The district director of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, Elizabeth Cadle, said, “The EEOC continues to vigorously investigate and enforce the ADA to make sure that employers do not exclude applicants and employees based on physical or mental impairments.”

The EEOC’s Phoenix District Office has jurisdiction for Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and part of New Mexico.

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.