ADA Blog


ADA Blog #108

Randstad is reportedly the second largest HR services and staffing company in the world with a nationwide network of nearly 350 branch locations in the United States alone. FORTUNE, in its 2012 “World’s Most Admired Companies”, ranked Randstad as one of only three staffing companies in the temporary help industry category.

However, when it comes to equal treatment for job seekers with disabilities, their record isn’t so admirable. According to the EEOC’s suit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Randstad US, LP refused to hire Jason O’Dell, who applied for employment with Randstad's Frederick, Md., branch, because of his disability, Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. Based on his qualifications for the lab technician position he sought, Randstad had originally fast-tracked O’Dell’s participation in the hiring process. Soon after he disclosed the disability, however, O’Dell was told that the lab technician position had been put “on hold,” and he was not hired. Meanwhile, Randstad continued to recruit for the position.

Such alleged conduct violates the ADA, which makes it unlawful to discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability.

In addition to the monetary relief of $60,000 to be paid to O’Dell, the consent decree settling the suit provides significant remedial relief. Randstad will:

create an active account for O’Dell on its Randstad University Online Training Center and permit him to enroll in 10 classes, courses or other training of his choice, free of charge;

modify its anti-discrimination, harassment and reasonable accommodation policy statements and make the new statements available to current and newly hired employees nationwide;

provide two hours of on-site training to all internal employees working in the Frederick, Md., branch and amend its existing nationwide employment law compliance training for both current and newly hired employees; and

post a notice in all of its Maryland branches affirming its commitment to provide a workplace free of discrimination where personnel decisions will be made without regard to people’s disabilities or their need for a reasonable accommodation.

The underlying purpose of the ADA is to eliminate employment discrimination for people with disabilities who are qualified to do the job. Employers must make employment decisions based on an applicant’s ability to perform the duties of the job, rather than uninformed prejudices or irrational fears.

In July, the ADA will have been our nation’s public policy on how we treat people with disabilities for 22 years. Has your company reviewed its policies to ensure they provide equality for both job seekers and existing employees with disabilities? Has your company provided adequate employee training on issues such as “recognizing a request for reasonable accommodation” or “engaging in the interactive process”?

Springboard’s experience can help you change the way you interact with your candidates, employees, prospects and customers. Contact us today.


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.