Des Plaines Limousine Service Refused to Hire Applicant Because He Is Deaf, Federal Agency Charged
CHICAGO - Des Plaines, Ill.-based M&M Limousine Service will pay a deaf job applicant $30,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
The EEOC's lawsuit charged M&M Limousine with violating federal discrimination law when it refused to hire the applicant based on his disability and failed to consider whether he could do the job, with or without reasonable accommodation.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination based on disability and requires an individualized assessment of whether an applicant with a disability can perform the job with or without reasonable accommodation. The EEOC filed its suit (Civil Action No. 1:19-CV-04213) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
M&M will pay $30,000 in monetary relief to the discrimination victim as part of a three-year consent decree settling the suit, signed by U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman on Feb. 19, 2020. The decree also provides non-monetary relief intended to prevent disability discrimination in M&M's workplace. M&M must train managers and supervisors on disability discrimination and requests for reasonable accommodations under the ADA. The company must track accommodation requests and complaints of disability discrimination and report them to the EEOC.
Greg Gochanour, EEOC regional attorney in Chicago, noted that the settlement had been negotiated before the parties engaged in extended litigation or pre-trial discovery.
"Early resolution of the case is good news for everyone," said Gochanour. "The parties avoid the delay and costs associated with protracted litigation. The job applicant receives compensation for his damages sooner rather than later, and corrective measures will soon be put in place."
EEOC District Director Julianne Bowman added, "This settlement serves as a reminder that the ADA prohibits employers from making discriminatory assumptions about deaf people during the hiring process and requires an individualized assessment as to whether a deaf applicant can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations."
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.