D.C. Store Violated Federal Law by Failing to Provide Reasonable Accommodations to Deaf Employees, Federal Agency Charges
WASHINGTON - Walmart Stores East, LP violated federal disability discrimination law by denying reasonable accommodations to deaf employees, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
According to the EEOC's lawsuit, Walmart Stores East, LP, refused to provide communications accommodations, such as access to sign language interpreters, to Troy Miles and Tonya Bland, who worked at Walmart Store No. 5941 in Northwest Washington, D.C. The EEOC says that Miles and Bland were entitled to accommodations to enable them to obtain information from, and to participate in, meetings, trainings and other workplace communications.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA.) The EEOC filed its suit (Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-01314) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
"Employers must provide accommodations to deaf and hard-of-hearing employees, so that they can enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment, such as obtaining information disseminated at meetings and participating in meetings," said EEOC Washington Field Office Acting Director Mindy Weinstein.
EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence added, "It was unlawful to ignore deaf employees' need for effective reasonable accommodations. When employers violate the law, EEOC will hold them accountable."
The EEOC's Washington Field Office has jurisdiction over the District of Columbia and the Virginia counties of Arlington, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun, Prince William, Stafford and Warren; and the independent Virginia cities of Alexandria, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park and Winchester.