$100,000 Settlement in Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Against Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, Training Ordered

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Question:  Would disability discrimination training have prevented this case?  See our trainings at http://www.hrclassroom.com.

One of the largest metropolitan Jewish community centers in the country will  pay $100,000 and provide other relief to settle a disability discrimination  lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the  agency announced. The EEOC had  charged that the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington (JCCGW) in Rockville, Md.,  violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) when it demoted and fired an  assistant teacher because of her hearing impairment.

In its suit  (AW 8:10-cv-1965), filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of  Maryland, Greenbelt Division, the EEOC said that Carole Schulman satisfactorily  performed her job duties as a nursery school assistant teacher at JCCGW. The EEOC believes that Schulman was able to  fulfill every aspect of her job safely, with no threat to anyone. Schulman was denied an accommodation, demoted  to a lower-paying position as a mail room clerk and ultimately removed from the  preschool altogether because of her hearing impairment.

The ADA prohibits  discrimination based on disability and requires an employer to provide a reasonable  accommodation unless it imposes an undue hardship. The consent decree settling the suit provides  $100,000 in back pay, compensatory damages and attorney’s fees to  Schulman. The EEOC filed suit after  first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.

In addition to the monetary relief,  the consent decree resolving the case requires that JCCGW provide mandatory  training for all employees and managers on the ADA with special emphasis on reasonable  accommodation, the employer’s duty to engage in the interactive process and  direct threat considerations. JCCGW will  also post notices at its facilities affirming its commitment to complying  with the ADA, be enjoined from further discriminating  on the basis of disability and be monitored by EEOC for ADA compliance.

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