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Press Release 09-22-2017

EEOC Sues Hertz for Disability Discrimination

Hertz Refused to Hire Applicant With Most Experience Because He Uses a Cane, Federal Agency Charges

DENVER - The Hertz Corporation unlawfully refused to hire a job applicant due to his mobility impairment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in a lawsuit it filed today.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Hertz actively recruited an individual for a sales position in its car sales division in Denver, after spotting his resume online. The individual agreed to meet with the local sales manager for an interview. At the interview, according to the EEOC, the manager expressed reservations about the applicant's mobility because he used a cane. The manager later informed the applicant that despite his competitive qualifications, which included over ten years of car sales experience, Hertz hired two other people. Both of those individuals possessed significantly less car sales experience, and one of them had never previously sold cars, according to the EEOC.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court of Colorado (EEOC v. The Hertz Corporation, Case No. 1:17-cv-02298) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, along with injunctive relief to prevent and address any future disability discrimination.

"Refusing to hire someone because of his disability is unlawful as well as unfair," said Elizabeth Cadle, district director for the EEOC's Phoenix District, which includes Denver in its jurisdiction. "Employers should not make employment decisions based on myths, fears and stereotypes about people with disabilities."

Mary Jo O'Neill, regional attorney for the EEOC's Phoenix District, added, "Employers should choose their employees because of their skills, abilities and qualifications. They should never let their biases about people with disabilities prevent them from hiring the most talented people."

According to its website, Hertz's business includes vehicle rental and car sales with approximately 9,700 locations worldwide.

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.