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.