EEOC Says Frozen Food Distributor Refused to Hire Temporary Employee on Permanent Basis
COVINGTON, Ky. – Schwan’s Global Supply Chain, Inc., a Kentucky area frozen food distributor, violated federal law by refusing to hire a qualified applicant for a job because of his vision impairment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a disability discrimination lawsuit announced today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Ernest McCaster, who is visually impaired, had successfully performed the duties of a temp-to-hire bakery laborer at Schwan’s for approximately two and a half months when he applied for a permanent position. He received a job offer contingent upon passing a physical exam. However, based on the vision portion of the exam, he was deemed unqualified for the permanent bakery laborer position, even though he was already successfully performing the job on a temporary basis. After completing the physical exam, McCaster continued to work a few weeks in the temp-to-hire position. In its lawsuit, the EEOC charges that he was never hired on a permanent basis because of his disability.
Such alleged conduct violates Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Schwan’s Global Supply Chain, Inc. Action No. 09-cv-111) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Kentucky, Covington Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement out of court.
According to the company’s web site, Florence, Ky.- based Schwan’s Global Supply Chain, Inc. has local sales and distribution centers across the nation, providing frozen food to consumer markets throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
“This litigation should remind employer that disability discrimination will not be tolerated in the 21st century workplace,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Laurie A. Young of the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Kentucky. “It is unlawful for employers to deny qualified individuals with disabilities the opportunity to compete for jobs on a level playing field. Disability does not mean inability,”
The EEOC is seeking back pay, compensatory and punitive damages against Schwan’s as well as other relief, including a permanent injunction to prevent Schwan’s from engaging in any employment practice that discriminates on the basis of disability.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on the agency’s web site at www.eeoc.gov.
This page was last modified on July 22, 2009.
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