We seem to be hearing about more EEOC lawsuits against companies regarding disability discrimination. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against KobeWieland Copper Products LLC for failing to hire an individual because of his perceived disability at its facility in Pine Hall, NC KobeWieland manufactures and sells copper tubing, and employs over 500 associates between its two plants in Pine Hall, NC, and Wheeling, IL.
According to the EEOC’s complaint, KobeWieland rescinded a job after hiring an applicant for a full-time caster position. When the new employee reported for his first day of work, KobeWieland’s Human Resource Specialist noticed that he was missing fingers, and rescinded the offer of employment. The HR Specialist stated that he was concerned that the employee could not do the job because of his missing fingers. Due to a childhood accident, the man lost fingers on his left hand.
EEOC’s complaint further alleges that the employee explained that he could do the job and even offered to demonstrate how he could do it, but was not allowed to do so. The EEOC alleges that the employee was fully qualified for the position and could perform the job, but was denied the job because KobeWieland regarded him as disabled because of his missing fingers.
This type of alleged conduct violates the ADA. In its lawsuit, the EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages, and rightful-place hiring, for this individual, as well as injunctive and other non-monetary relief.
The EEOC Regional Attorney stated how unfortunate that, some employers still react to applicants and employees based on myths, fears and stereotypes about a certain impairment that the individual may have. Rather than allowing the individual the opportunity to show that he could do the job, the company simply revoked the job offer because of his missing fingers.