ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced April 3 that The Salvation Army, a global humanitarian organization, will pay $55,000 after allegations of disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

"The ADA was enacted to ensure that employers evaluate candidates based on individual merit rather than general stereotypes about what people with intellectual disabilities can or cannot do,” EEOC attorney May Che said in a statement. “This settlement helps ensure that all workers have a level playing field and can participate in the workforce to their fullest ability."

According to the EEOC, Eric Yanusz applied for an entry-level donation attendant position at The Salvation Army’s thrift store in Wasilla, Alaska. Despite the position not requiring prior experience, Yanusz was allegedly turned down due to unfounded fears about an intellectual disability.

In addition to the monetary penalty, The Salvation Army agreed to institute stronger practices regarding discrimination and the ADA.

"We are very pleased with the outcome of this lawsuit,” Nancy Sienko, field director for the EEOC's Seattle field office, said in a statement. “The changes that will be implemented as part of this settlement will go a long way in reaffirming The Salvation Army's mission."

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