On October 18th, 2013, Pace Solano (which provides training, education and employment services for adults with development disabilities in Solano Count) agreed to settle a disability discrimination claim for $130,000 and to implement preventative measures.
On July 11, 2012, the EEOC filed a claim in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California. The EEOC complaint asked for back pay, lost wages and compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of Katrina Holly.
The EEOC complaint alleged that Pace Solano withdrew its offer of an instructor position after Katrina Holly disclosed during the pre-employment physical exam that she has partial paralysis in her left hand.
After interviewing for a position to teach developmentally disabled adults at Pace Solano’s Vallejo, Calif., facility, Katrina Holly was immediately offered a job and asked to take a pre-employment physical exam. Even though Holly successfully completed all tests and was cleared to do the job by Pace Solano’s own occupational health provider, it refused to hire Holly because of her hand situation.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from treating qualified applicants and employees unfavorably due to a disability. After first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through conciliation efforts, the EEOC filed the suit.
When the EEOC filed its complaint, EEOC Regional Attorney William Tamayo stated that “It was highly ironic that Pace Solano, an organization dedicated to assisting people with disabilities, rejected a fully capable and qualified applicant because of her disability.”
Under the five-year consent decree settling the suit, signed by Judge Morrison C. England, Pace Solano will pay Holly $130,000. Also, the company will provide anti-discrimination training to HR and supervisory personnel; develop written policies on disability discrimination; post a notice regarding the terms of the decree; and make periodic reports to the EEOC regarding hiring and training.
After Pace Solano agreed to settle, Katrina Holly stated: “I am grateful to the EEOC for advocating for workers like me to have the opportunity to prove what we can do, instead of being underestimated due to a disability.”
If you believe you are disabled under the ADA and are being discriminated against by your employer, please contact The Harman Firm, LLP.