U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Construction Company Laid Off and Refused To Rehire Disabled Worker Who Requested Accommodation
PHOENIX— A Phoenix electrical construction company violated federal law by discriminating against a disabled employee because of his disability and because he requested a reasonable accommodation and retaliated against him for opposing discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed on September 20, 2011.
In its suit, the EEOC asserts that ABCO West Electrical Construction and Design and ABCO Electrical Construction and Design discriminated and retaliated against Billy Hackney, who has an amputated leg, by laying him off because of his disability and because he requested a reasonable accommodation. In addition, the EEOC charges that ABCO refused to rehire Mr. Hackney because of his disability and in retaliation against Mr. Hackney because he had requested a reasonable accommodation, and because he reported ABCO’s discriminatory actions to his labor union and the EEOC.
Such alleged conduct violates Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits private employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. ABCO West Electrical Construction & Design L.L.C. and ABCO Electrical Construction & Design L.L.C., Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-01842-FJM) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through its conciliation process.
“Employers may not disregard laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace on the basis of disability,” said Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office. “Federal law prohibits employers from taking action against disabled employees who request reasonable accommodations.”
EEOC District Director Rayford O. Irvin added, “The EEOC is committed to vigorously enforcing the ADA and its retaliation provisions. We will not hesitate to sue to protect people who assert their rights under the law by reporting discrimination.”
The EEOC’s Phoenix District has jurisdiction over Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.