- Adecco USA refused to offer a candidate employment because of his disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in an Aug. 29 lawsuit.
- The Pittsburgh-based staffing agency initially declined to read an employment test aloud to an applicant who requested help because of a learning disability, the commission has alleged. Adecco eventually agreed to retest the applicant with the accommodation but, despite his passing the test, later informed him he was "too slow" for the production job he sought, according to EEOC; it instead offered him a car-washing job.
- "The [Americans with Disabilities Act] requires that employers and staffing agencies refrain from excluding individuals with disabilities from job opportunities on the basis of their disabilities, whether such exclusions are based on bigotry, stereotypes, myths and unwarranted fears, or unintended barriers to employment of disabled workers," said Debra Lawrence, an EEOC regional attorney, in a press release announcing the suit.
Bias isn't just something that can be avoided — it's a reality of everyday life, a speaker told attendees at a recent EEOC conference. Still, acting on biases in the workplace is unacceptable, the presenter went on to say.
When it comes to ADA compliance, employers are expected to consider each candidate and employee on a case-by-case basis, performing an individualized assessment and engaging in the interactive process to determine whether there are any reasonable accommodations that would allow the worker to perform the essential functions of the job.
What's more, many employers are finding that untapped talent pools — including workers with disabilities — are one answer to the skills gap. Companies are also beginning to expand their diversity and inclusion efforts, and workers with disabilities are just one of several groups emerging as a new focus.