U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Lincoln Assisted Living Facility Violated Federal Law, Agency Charged
LINCOLN, Neb. – Haven Manor, Inc. violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it refused to accept temporary placement of Amanda Huff, a hearing-impaired certified nursing assistant (CNA), at its assisted living facility in Lincoln, Neb., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
In its lawsuit (Case No. 4:10-cv-03108), filed in U.S. District Court in Lincoln, the EEOC claimed that in September 2007, Willingham Health Services, a staffing agency, sent Amanda Huff to Haven Manor in response for a request for a CNA to cover short-staffing on the evening shift. The EEOC further alleges that after Huff, an excellent lip reader, spent about 20 minutes in orientation with a Haven Manor representative, she asked if she could have someone set her pager to vibrate rather than produce an audible alert. It was at this time that representatives of Haven Manor discovered that Huff is hearing-impaired. A Haven Manor representative informed Huff that she could not work the scheduled shift because of her hearing impairment and sent her away.
Such alleged conduct violates the ADA, which prohibits employment discrimination based on a disability. Huff filed a discrimination charge, which the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission (NEOC) investigated. The EEOC filed suit only after both the NEOC and EEOC attempted to reach a voluntary settlement with Haven Manor.
“Americans with disabilities overcome innumerable obstacles throughout their lives in order to be able to compete on equal footing with people who are not disabled,” said EEOC attorney Melvin Kennedy. “The ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 were enacted to prevent employers from denying employees with disabilities the equal opportunity to compete for jobs, promotions and other benefits of employment.”
James R. Neely, Jr., the EEOC’s St. Louis district director, added, “By now, all employers should be aware of their obligations under the ADA. The EEOC will vigorously enforce the ADA and bring to justice those employers who will not follow the law.”
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.