Trainings & Events
News from the Federal Agencies
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Wendy's Franchisee Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit against CTW L.L.C., a Wendy's franchisee. The EEOC lawsuit alleges that the franchisee denied employment to a hearing-impaired applicant because of the applicant's disability
Americold Logistics Sued by EEOC for Disability Discrimination
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a lawsuit against Americold Logistics, LLC, an Atlanta-based global provider of temperature-controlled warehousing and logistics to the food industry. According to the EEOC lawsuit Americold failed to accommodate the disability of an employee at Americold's Sebree, Ky., facility. The employee has chronic lumbar back pain with radiculopathy into her legs. The EEOC said Americold then fired the employee based on her disability.
Resources for Human Development Settles EEOC Disability Suit for $125,000
Resources for Human Development, Inc. (RHD), doing business as Family House of Louisiana, a treatment facility for chemically dependent women and their children, will pay $125,000 to settle a disability discrimination suit filed in September 2010 by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The court-approved settlement resolves the charge that RHD violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it fired an employee because of her disability, severe obesity, even though the employee was able to perform the essential functions of the job. Before the EEOC filed suit, Harrison died.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
HHS Settles Americans with Disabilities Act Allegations
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has entered into a voluntary resolution agreement with the Town of Simsbury, Connecticut mandating that the town recreation department adopt a policy on diabetes management for children attending its summer camp program. The agreement follows an OCR investigation into a complaint filed by a father on behalf of his eight year old daughter, alleging that the town failed to provide reasonable modifications to its summer camp program to allow camp staff to administer blood glucose testing and, if necessary, provide diabetes-related care to the child participating in the program. Under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), unless a public entity can demonstrate that making a modification would fundamentally alter the nature of a service, program or activity, the entity must make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures when such modifications are necessary to avoid discriminating against a person based on a disability.
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
Justice Department Announces Settlement Agreement
The agreement between the Justice Department and Arizona Interscholastic Association, Inc. (AIA) resolves a complaint filed under Title III alleging that the AIA refused the use of a sign language interpreter during tennis matches. AIA has agreed to implement policies and procedures, set forth below, that are designed to afford individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing a benefit equal to that provided to others, and to ensure that appropriate auxiliary aids and services will be provided where necessary to afford effective communication with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing during AIA-sponsored tennis matches.
Settlement Agreement between Justice Department and the City of Ansonia, CN
The agreement resolves a complaint filed under Title II by Recovery Network of Programs which planned to open a center for individuals with substance abuse disabilities. The complaint alleges that the City refused to allow the facility on the basis of disability, in violation of the ADA. The agreement requires that the city modify zoning requirements to allow the center to open.
U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
ODEP signs alliance agreement with National Industry Liaison Group
The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Alliance Initiative, which started in 2006, enables organizations to work with the agency to develop and implement model policies and initiatives that increase the recruitment, hiring, retention and career advancement of employees with disabilities. The National Industry Liaison Group fosters voluntary partnerships of public and private sector entities to identify effective approaches on legal and regulatory issues regarding affirmative action and equal employment.
Great Lakes In Focus
On September 15, 2010 the U.S. Department of Justice published revised regulations covering state and local governments and places of public accommodations and commercial facilities. These revised regulations included the adoption of the 2010 ADA standards for accessible design. In addition to publishing revised regulations ns the DOJ has also produced several technical assistance documents on the regulations and the standards.
- Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services For more information visit http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/titleII_2010/titleII_2010_regulations.htm
- Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Public Accommodations and Commercial Facilities For more information visit http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/titleIII_2010/titleIII_2010_regulations.htm
- 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design For more information visit http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/2010ADAStandards/2010ADAstandards.htm#top
- ADA Update: A Primer for small business For more information visit http://www.ada.gov/regs2010/smallbusiness/smallbusprimer2010.htm
- Revised ADA Requirements: Accessible Pools Means of Entry and Exit For more information visit http://www.ada.gov/pools_2010.htm
- Revised ADA Requirements: Ticket sales For more information visit http://www.ada.gov/ticketing_2010.htm
- Revised ADA Requirements: Service Animals For more information visit http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm
MONIKA SAMPER V. PROVIDENCE ST. VINCENT MEDICAL For more information visit http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2012/04/11/10-35811.pdf
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a District Court's dismissal of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit. Monika Samper, a neo-natal intensive care unit nurse, sought to be exempt from her employer's attendance policy. The accommodation she sought would have allowed her an unspecified number of unplanned absences. The hospital's attendance policy allowed five unplanned absences of unlimited duration as well as other permitted absences. After violating the attendance policy multiple times Samper was terminated. She filed suit alleging that the hospital failed to accommodate her. The District Court granted the employer summary judgment.
Samper appealed the district court's summary judgment in favor of the employer on her reasonable accommodation claim under the ADA. The Appeals Court ruled that regular attendance is an essential function of a neo-natal nursing position at the hospital and affirmed the lower court's decision.
From the ADA Expert
Question: I am the Director of Disability Student Services at a local community college. We have a student that is deaf enrolled in a political science course. All students in the course are required to attend a conference held downstate. The conference is open for anyone from the general public to attend. Who is responsible for providing a sign language interpreter for the student?Answer:
As a community college your college is covered by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applying to state and local governments. Title II of the ADA requires that public entities provide necessary auxiliary aids and services in order to insure that qualified individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing are not excluded from programs, activities or services. The organizers of the conference are covered by Title III of the ADA, which applies to places of public accommodation. Title III of the ADA requires that places of public accommodation take steps to insure that individuals with disabilities have the same level of access to information that individuals without disabilities have. A place of public accommodation must provide any auxiliary aid or service in order to insure effective communication with someone that is deaf or hard of hearing so the individual has an equal opportunity to benefit from the goods and services being offered.
Examples of Auxiliary Aids and Services
- Qualified interpreters on-site or through video remote interpreting (VRI) services
- Real-time computer-aided transcription services
- Written materials
- Exchange of written notes
- Telephone handset amplifiers
- Assistive listening devices
- Assistive listening systems
- Telephones compatible with hearing aids
- Closed caption decoders
- Open and closed captioning, including real-time captioning
- Voice, text, and video-based telecommunications products and systems, including text telephones (TTYs), videophones, and captioned telephones, or equally effective telecommunications devices
- Videotext displays
Accessible electronic and information technology Or other effective methods of making aurally delivered information available
Determining Appropriate Auxiliary Aid or Service
The type of auxiliary aid a public or place of public accommodation provides is dependent on which auxiliary aid is appropriate under the particular circumstances. The type of auxiliary aid or service necessary to ensure effective communication will vary in accordance with:
- Method of communication used by the individual
- Nature, length, and complexity of the communication involved
- Context in which the communication is taking place
In this instance both the community college and the conference organizers have an obligation under the ADA with respect to the student that is deaf. Neither the college nor the conference organizers have to provide an auxiliary aid or service that would result in an undue burden or fundamental alteration. If for instance the conference organizers state that they will not provide an interpreter or that providing one poses an undue burden that does not remove the college's obligations to provide necessary auxiliary aids or services. The college should attempt to work with the conference organizers in an effort to share costs associated with insuring effective communication with the student while participating in the conference.
For additional information contact the Great Lakes ADA Center by calling (800) 949-4232 (V/TTY) or via the online contact form at http://www.adagreatlakes.org/WebForms/ContactUs/