Federal Agency Says Vegas Western Cab Unlawfully Refused to Hire a Qualified Amputee
LAS VEGAS - Vegas Western Cab Company, a major taxicab company in the Las Vegas region, violated federal law by refusing to employ an applicant for a driver position because of his disability, single arm amputation, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed yesterday.
According to the EEOC's suit, Vegas Western Cab refused to hire Joel Walden, a former military reservist and single arm amputee, when it discovered his disability. Federal and state regulations allow an amputee to be employed as a driver if he or she uses a prosthetic arm and passes a physical examination.
Discrimination against job applicants because of disabilities violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). After first attempting a voluntary settlement, the EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Vegas Western Cab Company, Civil Action No. 09-cv-1888) in U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. In the suit, the federal agency seeks back pay and compensatory and punitive damages as well as injunctive relief, including policy changes that will ensure a discrimination-free workplace going forward.
"Many people with disabilities are qualified, willing, and able to work - all they need is an equal opportunity," said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District Office, which has jurisdiction over the Las Vegas region. "Each applicant deserves a chance to prove he or she is qualified to do the job."
Lucy Orta, the EEOC's Las Vegas Local Director, said, "Employers must realize that they cannot base their decisions on myths, fears and stereotypes. Instead, they must give everyone, including disabled applicants, an equal chance to participate in the workplace."
Vegas Western Cab, along with Ace Cab, ABC Union Cab, ANLV Cab, and Virgin Valley Cab, which all operate under one holding company, provide taxi cab transportation services to the Las Vegas Region. According to company information, the companies employ over 1,400 people.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.
This page was last modified on September 29, 2009.
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