U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Limited Woman’s Job Opportunities Because of Disability, Federal Agency Charges
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – JAAZUBIN, LLC, doing business as Savory Fare Bakery and Café, violated federal law by subjecting a hearing impaired woman to disability discrimination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed on September 28, 2011.
In its suit, the EEOC charged that Savory Fare limited or segregated Laura Mitchell to washing dishes or bussing tables because of her disability. Additionally, Savory Fare denied Mitchell training and job advancement opportunities, retaliated against her for her requests for training, and forced her to resign her employment because of the discrimination and retaliation she suffered. Finally, EEOC alleged that Savory Fare conducted unlawful pre-employment inquiries of applicants for employment and failed to maintain employment records, including employment applications, as required by law.
Such alleged conduct violates Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits employment discrimination based on disability. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico (EEOC v. JAAZUBIN, LLC, d/b/a Savory Fare Bakery and Café, Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-00869) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through its conciliation process.
“Discriminating against persons with disabilities based on myths, fears, or stereotypes about their abilities is against the law. Employers must make decisions based on factual information about their employees’ abilities to perform their jobs, not illegal assumptions,” said Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the EEOC’s Phoenix District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah.
The lawsuit asks the court to order Savory Fare to provide Mitchell with appropriate relief, including back wages, compensatory and punitive damages, and a permanent injunction enjoining the company from engaging in any further disability or age discrimination.
EEOC Deputy District Director Elizabeth Cadle said, “We will not tolerate discrimination because of disability. Employees should be given opportunities for training and advancement based on their desires and capabilities, not unlawful assumptions about their abilities.”
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.