Auto glass repair company Safelite has agreed to pay $45,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The lawsuit accused Safelite of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to accommodate an employee’s disability and firing her because of it.
According to the lawsuit, Safelite hired the employee as a customer service representative in its Texas call center in 2017. The employee informed Safelite of her hearing impairment during the hiring process and requested an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for training. Safelite denied her request and instead provided written materials and videos for training.
The employee struggled with the written materials and videos and requested an ASL interpreter again, but her request was again denied. She ultimately failed the training and was terminated by Safelite.
The EEOC filed a lawsuit on behalf of the employee, alleging that Safelite violated the ADA by failing to provide reasonable accommodations for the employee’s disability and terminating her because of her disability. The settlement agreement requires Safelite to pay $45,000 to the employee and provide training to its employees on the ADA and reasonable accommodations.
The ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants with disabilities and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform their job duties. Reasonable accommodations can include changes to the workplace or job duties, as well as providing aids and services such as interpreters, if necessary.
The Safelite case serves as a reminder to employers of the importance of providing reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. Employers should have policies and procedures in place to handle accommodation requests and should work with employees to find reasonable solutions that enable them to perform their job duties. If an employer denies a reasonable accommodation request, it must be able to show that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the business.
The Importance of Employment Lawyers in Today’s Workplace
Employees who believe they have been subjected to disability discrimination or who have had their reasonable accommodation requests denied can file a complaint with the EEOC or a state agency. It is important for employees to understand their rights under the ADA and to seek the assistance of an employment lawyer if they believe their rights have been violated.
Irving employment lawyers can represent employees in legal proceedings, such as filing a lawsuit against their employer. They can conduct legal research, prepare legal documents, and represent their clients in court. They can also work with other legal professionals, such as expert witnesses and investigators, to build a strong case on behalf of their clients.
Texas employment lawyers can also help employers with legal compliance issues, such as ensuring that their policies and practices comply with labor laws and regulations. They can provide legal advice on issues such as hiring, firing, employee benefits, and workplace safety. By working with Texas employment lawyers, employers can protect themselves from legal liability and create a fair and safe workplace for their employees.
The Safelite case highlights the importance of complying with the ADA and providing reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. Employers must take proactive steps to ensure they are providing reasonable accommodations and avoiding disability discrimination. Employment lawyers can help employers navigate ADA compliance and provide guidance on accommodating employees with disabilities.