DALLAS (Legal Newsline) — BlueCross/Blue Shield of Texas (BCBS) has reached a $75,000 settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over allegations the insurance provider refused to hire an applicant because she was deaf.
According to an EEOC March 19 news release, Sheryl Meador, who was applying for an open claims examiner position, could not complete the audio portion of an assessment exam due to her hearing impairment. When the applicant informed a BCBS recruiter about her disability and asked for a reasonable accommodation to finish the exam, the company stopped all communication. The EEOC says BCBS violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with its refusal to hire a qualified individual with a disability.
"Like so many other people with or without disabilities, Ms. Meador just wanted the opportunity to work," EEOC trial attorney Heather Nodler said in a statement. "She was well qualified for this position, irrespective of the nature of her disability. Unfortunately, however, the application process became a needless roadblock to her employment."
The settlement includes BCBS providing Meador with monetary relief, requires the company to conduct annual ADA training and to implement a policy to allow for communication with deaf or hearing impaired applicants, the EEOC said.