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Press Release 01-19-2023

Excentia to Pay $100,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Suit

Preschool Provider Refused to Hire Candidate With Cerebral Palsy, Federal Agency Charged

PHILADELPHIA — Excentia Human Services, also known as The Pai Corporation and the S. June Smith Center, will pay $100,000 and provide other relief to settle a disability discrim­ination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency announced today.

Excentia refused to hire a candidate for a preschool provider position because she has cerebral palsy, the EEOC charged. Although the candidate was qualified, and human resources staff sent her to the worksite after a successful interview, management rejected the candidate after meeting her and discovering that she has cerebral palsy, according to EEOC’s lawsuit.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits disability discrimination and requires employers to provide reasonable accommo­dations to individuals with disabilities unless it would cause undue hardship. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. The Pai Corporation d/b/a Excentia Human Services and d/b/a Excentia and S. June Smith Center, Case No. 2:21-cv-04273) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its administrative conciliation process.

The three-year consent decree issued by the court requires Excentia to pay $100,000 in back pay and compensatory damages, to adopt policies and procedures, and to provide training to ensure compliance with the ADA. The decree also requires periodic reporting, monitoring, and a process for reviewing future disability discrimination complaints.

“The ADA requires employers to evaluate persons with disabilities based on their actual ability to perform the job, with or without reasonable accommodation, and not on subjective perceptions, assumptions, or stereotypes about the nature or effect of a person’s disability,” said Debra Lawrence, regional attorney for EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office. “The EEOC will continue to enforce this crucial federal law.”

The Philadelphia District Office of EEOC oversees Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. The legal staff of the Philadelphia District Office of EEOC also prosecutes discrimination cases arising from Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.

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