“Thinking” someone can’t do a job just by looking at them, increases an employer’s risk for acting in a discriminatory manner under the ADA. This happened when a large company in NC rescinded an offer of employment when the new hire reported for work the first day as a caster. A human resource specialist noticed that the employee was missing fingers, and immediately rescinded the offer of employment due to concern that he could not do the job because of his missing fingers. EEOC said he was fully qualified for the position and could perform the job, but was denied the job because the employer “regarded” him as disabled solely because of his missing fingers. The ADA protects people against discrimination because of perceived disabilities as well as actual ones. Not only will the company pay the employee $84,750, it will also post a copy of its anti-discrimination policy in its facilities, provide training on the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to all managers and supervisors, and will notify the EEOC of any applicants that discloses a disability or are disqualified from employment as a result of a post-offer medical examination by the company over the next two years. Making employment decisions based on myths, fears and stereotypes about certain conditions, rather than an objective analysis of a person’s actual capabilities, is disability discrimination and is a violation of federal law.
Let Springboard design a training program for your managers and supervisors so that you can alleviate your fear and minimize your risk in providing equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities to join your diverse workforce.
This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.