- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued Home Service Oil Company, doing business as Express Mart, alleging that a manger operating a story in Cedar Hill, Missouri, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by refusing to hire an applicant because of his facial tic caused by Tourette's syndrome.
- The manager, EEOC said, mocked the applicant — a frequent customer — after he turned in his application, commenting to an assistant manager that "she did not want someone like him working at the store," according to a press release. She then threw his application in the trash.
- EEOC is seeking monetary relief and a position for the applicant.
ADA charges are on the rise, making it important for HR professionals to ensure employees — especially those with managerial or hiring duties — understand how to stay in compliance with the law. To start, HR pros can review employee handbook policies, provide training for supervisors and managers and write accurate job descriptions, experts say.
EEOC said it faces a particularly pronounced challenge in tackling hiring discrimination. "Hiring discrimination is one of the most difficult types of employment discrimination to eliminate because applicants generally do not know the reason they were not hired for a job," said Andrea G. Baran, the EEOC's Regional Attorney in St. Louis, in a statement. "But the EEOC is committed to ensuring all workers have the freedom to compete for jobs without consideration of their disabilities or other unlawful factors."
And the ADA doesn't leaving hiring managers without any tools. If an interviewer questions an applicant's ability to carry out a task because of a disability, he or she can simply ask the applicant how they would approach the task, Walgreen SVP of Supply Chain and Logistics Randy Lewis previously told attendees at an event on employing workers with disabilities. "If it takes two hands to handle the case, ask the person. Show them the job and ask how they'd do it," he said. "Chances are they've had a lifetime of figuring out how to do it."