Linen Services Provider Refused to Hire Individual Because of His Disabilities, Federal Agency Charged
ATLANTA – Crothall Healthcare, Inc., a medical laundry and linen service, will pay $37,500 and provide other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, applicant Billy Pack, who suffers from cerebral palsy and deafness, was interviewed by Crothall for a laundry services worker position at the company’s Rome, Ga. location. Pack came to 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, according to the EEOC’s complaint.
This 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.
Under the consent decree resolving the lawsuit, Crothall will pay $37,500 in monetary damages to Pack. Crothall will also conduct regular reporting, monitoring, annual training, distribution of anti-discrimination policies, and notice posting.
“An employer cannot legally refuse to hire a qualified applicant because of his disability,” said Marcus G. Keegan, regional attorney for the EEOC's Atlanta District Office. “The EEOC is pleased that Pack has been compensated and that the company agreed to implement training on its anti-discrimination policies to prevent discrimination from occurring again in the future.”
“Employers may not deny an employment opportunity to a qualified person with a disability based on unfounded assumptions,” said Darrell Graham, district director of the Atlanta office. “The EEOC is committed to seeking relief for those who suffered disability discrimination in the workplace.”
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.