Bank of America to pay $30,000 after allegedly discriminating against deaf employee

By Mark Iandolo | Apr 7, 2016

LAS VEGAS (Legal Newsline) – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that Bank of America NA has agreed to pay $30,000 and furnish other relief to resolve allegations the company engaged in disability discrimination.

Bank of America allegedly unlawfully denied a reasonable accommodation to a deaf employee who worked at one of its vault locations in Las Vegas. The company purportedly used ineffective communications methods to deal with the employee’s disability.

Alleged actions like this violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"Employers must be mindful of the diversity that exists in the deaf community in order to ensure deaf employees are properly accommodated," Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC's Los Angeles District, said. "Rather than take a 'one-size-fits-all' approach, employers need to ensure individualized accommodations are explored and implemented to respond to the specific needs of the requesting employee."

Bank of America agreed to injunctive relief in addition the monetary penalties it will pay. The company will need to ensure a dedicated accommodations team works to provide reasonable accommodations to deaf employees. It must also train its team to work under the standards of the ADA as it relates to deaf employees.

"We continue to see employers fail to properly engage in the interactive process,” Richard Burgamy, local director for EEOC’s Las Vegas Local Office, said. “We encourage employers to provide all employees with disabilities appropriate reasonable accommodations to ensure they enjoy the equal employment opportunities to which they are entitled."

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