ATLANTA – Crothall Healthcare, Inc., a medical laundry and linen service, violated federal law when it refused to extend a job offer to an applicant at its Rome, Ga., location because of his disabilities, a hearing impairment and cerebral palsy, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, Crothall interviewed Billy Pack for a laundry services worker position. Pack presented for the interview with an American Sign Language interpreter and mobility aids and asked for a stool as an accommodation for his disability. Crothall refused to extend an offer to Pack and claimed the position had been filled, but hired more than 80 non-disabled workers for the position shortly after Pack applied, the EEOC said.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits discrimination based on a disability. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Crothall Healthcare, Inc., Civil Action No. 4:20-cv-190-HLM-WEJ) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Rome Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC is seeking reinstatement, back pay and compensatory and punitive damages for Pack, as well as injunctive relief designed to prevent future discrimination.
“An employer cannot legally refuse to hire a qualified applicant because of his disability,” said Robert Weisberg, acting regional attorney for the EEOC's Atlanta District Office. “The EEOC is here to vindicate the rights of victims of unlawful employment discrimination.”
Darrell Graham, district director of the Atlanta office, said, “The EEOC is committed to ending disability discrimination in the workplace. Employers may not deny an employment opportunity to a qualified person with a disability based on unfounded assumptions.”
Wayne, Pa.-based Crothall owns and operates facilities nationwide that provide laundry and linen services to hospitals.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.