DALLAS (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced Feb. 23 that S&B Industry, a cellphone repair facility in Fort Worth, Texas, will pay $110,000 and provide additional relief after allegations of disability discrimination in denying employment to two hearing-impaired applicants.
"Here were two excellent candidates for hire who demonstrated a great deal of courage by coming forward to report what happened to them," said EEOC senior trial attorney Joel Clark. "We hope the settlement in this case will play a part in encouraging employers to eliminate barriers that keep deaf applicants from bringing their skills and talents to the workplace."
Katelynn Baker and Tia Rice purportedly applied for positions with S&B Industry and communicated via American sign language to each other during a group interview. At this point, the company allegedly became aware of the disabilities. Later, in a meeting with a supervisor, the two applicants allegedly requested written information about the positions. S&B industry allegedly then refused to hire them.
"We feel the employer here is committed to doing positive things going forward,” said Dallas District Office regional attorney Robert A. Canino. “These experiences can lead us all to be more attuned to what we can do collectively to contribute to the evolution of an ever more inclusive workplace."