Mark Iandolo Aug. 17, 2016, 11:35am


ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that the Georgia Council for the Hearing-Impaired Inc. (GACHI) will pay $10,000 after allegations of retaliation against a former employee.

GACHI is a nonprofit organization that provides services for the deaf and hard of hearing. EEOC alleged in 2013 the company retaliated against Stephen Patterson after he filed an EEOC charge. Patterson and GACHI allegedly came to an agreement to resolve the charge that included the company agreeing to provide neutral employment references for Patterson to any prospective employer calling about him. Instead, according to EEOC, GACHI gave negative references to more than one prospective employer.

Alleged conduct of this nature violates the American With Disabilities Act’s (ADA) anti-retaliation provisions. GACHI will provide Patterson with monetary relief. Additionally, the company must institute equal employment opportunity training and post a notice about its federal anti-discrimination obligations for all employees to see. 

Eliminating policies and practices that discourage individuals from seeking their rights under anti-discrimination statues is one of EEOC’s six national priorities, according to its strategic enforcement plan.

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