U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Company Failed to Hire an Applicant Because of his Disability, EEOC Charges
RICHMOND, VA – RCC Consultants, Inc. (RCC Consultants) violated federal disability discrimination law when it refused to hire an individual at its mid-Atlantic regional office located in Glen Allen, Virginia because of his disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today. RCC Consultants, a New Jersey-based company, is an international telecommunications engineering, consulting and integration firm that has regional offices throughout the United States.
According to the EEOC’s complaint, RCC Consultants failed to hire Stanton Woodcock for a managing consultant position because of his disability, ocular albinism. Ocular albinism is an inherited condition in which the eyes lack melanin pigment. Because of the lack of melanin pigment in his eyes, Woodcock has a variety of vision problems which substantially limit his ability to see. On or about October 17, 2007, Woodcock interviewed for a managing consultant position at RCC Consultant’s Glen Allen, Virginia facility. Woodcock was offered the position. According to the EEOC’s complaint, around late-October 2007, when RCC Consultants learned that Woodcock did not have a driver’s license and does not drive because of his disability, RCC Consultants rescinded the offer of employment. Although Woodcock was fully qualified to perform the duties of the managing consultant position, RCC Consultants unlawfully failed to hire him for the position because of his disability, the complaint alleges.
Such alleged conduct violates Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits private employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. RCC Consultants, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:11-cv-00864), after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement out of court. The suit seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages for Woodcock, as well as injunctive and other non-monetary relief.
“It’s unfortunate that twenty years after the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, some employers still react to applicants and employees based on myths, fears or stereotypes about a certain impairment that the individual may have and how that impairment might affect the individual’s ability to perform a job,” said Lynette A. Barnes, Regional Attorney for the EEOC’s Charlotte District office. “This suit should remind employers that the EEOC will not waiver in enforcing the ADA.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.