Software Developer and Staffing Company Unlawfully Reject Deaf Job Applicant, Federal Agency Charges
PORTLAND, Ore. — Construction software developer Viewpoint, Inc. and its recruiter, CampusPoint Corporation, violated federal law by refusing to accommodate or hire a qualified deaf applicant, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
The EEOC’s investigation found that CampusPoint selected the applicant to interview for an analyst position with its client Viewpoint, with both companies agreeing that he was highly qualified, and his experience was “ideal”. However, when the applicant requested an ASL interpreter for an upcoming group-interview, the companies erroneously assumed that he would need a full-time interpreter to shadow him if hired. Instead of considering available accommodations or discussing the issue with the applicant, the companies simply rejected him because of his disability.
Rejecting a qualified applicant because of disability violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon (EEOC v. Viewpoint, Inc. and CampusPoint Corporation, Case No. 3:21-cv-01429-SB) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks monetary damages for the applicant and injunctive relief, which typically includes training on anti-discrimination laws, posting of notices at the worksite, and compliance reporting.
“It is absolutely critical in the hiring process that companies evaluate individuals for their ability and not let fears and stereotypes about their disability get in the way,” said Nancy Sienko, acting district director for the EEOC’s San Francisco District, which includes Oregon. She added, “Eliminating barriers in hiring, especially hiring practices that discriminate against people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).”
EEOC Senior Trial Attorney Teri Healy noted, “There are so many ways an individual can be accommodated in the workplace. The ADA requires employers to explore these options rather than insist that a job be performed in precisely the same manner that it has been performed in the past.”
CampusPoint, a staffing agency with offices in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, recruits college students and recent graduates to work for its clients as “Try Before You Buy” temporary employees, with a goal toward converting them to permanent client employees. Portland-based Viewpoint, Inc. develops software for the construction industry. According to its website, www.viewpoint.com, Viewpoint, a Trimble Company, had revenues in excess of $2.7 billion dollars in 2018, the same year that the applicant applied.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.