Hotel Refused to Accommodate Visually Impaired Employee and Summarily Denied Him a Promotion, Federal Agency Charges
DAYTON, Ohio – National hotel giant Red Roof Inns, Inc. violated federal law when it refused to promote an employee because of his visual impairment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, an employee of the Red Roof Inns’ Corporate Call Center in Springfield, Ohio expressed interest in a promotion to a newly available position there. Red Roof Inns refused to accommodate the employee in his attempt to learn more about and compete for the promotion, stating it would be a waste of his time to apply for the position because his visual impairment could not be accommodated.
Rejecting a qualified employee because of a disability, or failing to consider accommodations for employees with disabilities, violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC asserts that the company’s actions were intentional and demonstrated a reckless indifference to the qualified employee’s federally protected rights.
The EEOC filed suit (Case No. 3:20-cv-00381 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division, at Dayton) after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through its administrative conciliation process. The agency is seeking back pay and compensatory and punitive damages against Red Roof Inns as well as a permanent injunction to prevent the company from engaging in future discrimination against its visually impaired employees.
“Denying a promotional opportunity to a qualified visually impaired employee solely because of his disability is illegal, and it should be,” said Michelle Eisele, district director for the EEOC’s Indianapolis District Office.
Kenneth L. Bird, regional attorney of the Indianapolis District Office, said, “Protecting the employee’s right to receive a reasonable accommodation to apply for a promotion is central to the EEOC’s mission.”
The Indianapolis District Office of the EEOC oversees Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and parts of Ohio.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.