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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
8-3-11

Jewish Community Center Of Greater Washington Settles EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Hearing-Impaired Assistant Teacher to Receive $100,000

BALTIMORE  – 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 today. 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.

“We are pleased that the company  agreed to resolve the case by providing substantial monetary relief to Ms.  Schulman – and agreeing to other terms that will help protect other employees  from disability discrimination,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence.

During fiscal year 2010, disability  discrimination charges filed with the EEOC reached a record level of 25,165.

The EEOC  enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the agency is  available at its web site at www.eeoc.gov.