If any of our readers in Colorado are looking for a job in today's economy, they have likely run into significant difficulties. Most readings of the economy's health have shown stagnation and uneasiness, with the unemployment numbers mostly staying the same or showing scant improvement. However, job hunting can be even more of a challenge if a potential employer engages in discriminatory hiring practices.
In Aurora, Children's Hospital Colorado recently agreed to settle a claim that the hospital engaged in discrimination. The hospital withdrew an offer of employment from a job applicant after it was discovered that she suffered from a disability. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled against the employer after determining that the hospital violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the resulting settlement was for $95,000.
Readers in the Denver area may know that the ADA is meant to protect employees and job applicants from being discriminated against simply because they live with a disability. This protection extends to all phases of employment, including recruitment, hiring and training.
In this case, the EEOC said that the hospital offered a job to the applicant, but the offer was contingent on a health screening. The screening revealed to the hospital that the applicant suffered from fibromyalgia, which is a chronic pain disorder, and at that time, the offer of employment was withdrawn.
In addition to the $95,000 settlement, the hospital also agreed to train present employees on the requirements of the ADA. Failure to comply with ADA requirements, as seen in this case, can result in complaints being filed with the EEOC. Every job applicant deserves to begin the hiring process on equal footing, and as this case illustrates, the law offers protections against employment discrimination for applicants and hired employees.
Source: The Gazette, "Hospital to pay $95,000 in discrimination claim," May 31, 2012