Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Disability services provider sued for, what else, disability discrimination

I’m four years older than my brother. For this reason, growing up I would sometimes get punished for things for which my brother was let off the hook. The reasoning? You should know better. And, I’m sad to say that now that I have two kids of my own, I have found myself repeating this refrain to my older child. The sins of the father, I guess.

Apparently, “you should know better” carries over to the world of employment law. The EEOC has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against Pace Solano, a California disability services provider. According to the EEOC:

After interviewing for a position to teach developmentally disabled adults … Katrina Holly was immediately offered a job and asked to take a pre-employment physical exam. Holly successfully completed all of the tests and disclosed that she had partial paralysis in one hand to the examiner, so that he would have her complete medical information. Despite written verification from its own doctor that Holly was cleared to do the job, Pace Solano withdrew its job offer due to her hand. When she asked the company to reconsider, the response was, “Your injury makes you a liability; you don’t want to get hurt any more than you already are, do you?”

I agree wholeheartedly with these words from EEOC District Director Michael Baldonado: “While we admire the work that Pace Solano performs for the community, there is simply no excuse for rejecting an applicant because of a disability which in no way impacts her performance.” A lawsuit is simply a set of unproven allegations. If, however, there is any whiff of truth in this lawsuit, Pace Solano should settle this case and train its people so that this public relations nightmare is not repeated.