EEOC alleges Capstone Logistics refused to hire applicant due to deafness

By Mark Iandolo | Jul 26, 2017

DETROIT (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit July 14 against Capstone Logistics LLC, a provider of supply chain solutions to distribution centers, over allegations of refusing to hire an applicant due to his deafness.

“This case should send a strong message to all employers that they must make hiring decisions based on the applicant's qualifications, not speculation about his disability," said Spencer H. Lewis Jr., district director of the EEOC's Philadelphia District Office. "There is a wealth of resources to assist employers in making hiring decisions and providing a reasonable accommodation, including information on our website or on the Job Accommodation Network's website."

EEOC alleges George Harris, who is deaf, applied to for a warehouse position with the company and was denied due to his deafness after a long, drawn-out process. He was scheduled for an interview, but the site manager postponed it so an interpreter could be present. After much back-and-forth and delay, the site manager allegedly texted Harris that no job at the warehouse would be safe for him.

"Mr. Harris was qualified for the warehouse laborer position but Capstone refused to communicate with him about his ability to do the job let alone explore possible reasonable accommodations that would address any purported safety concerns. The EEOC will take vigorous action when an employer makes a hiring decision based on a bias against or outdated stereotypes about individuals with a disability,” said EEOC regional attorney Debra M. Lawrence.

The EEOC seeks back pay and compensatory and punitive damages. The agency also seeks injunctive relief to prevent the alleged discrimination from happening in the future.

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