U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued the following announcement on Oct. 17.
Janitorial Services, Inc. & Arbeit, Inc. (JSI), a janitorial contractor located in the Cleveland suburb of Cuyahoga Heights, has agreed to pay $315,000 to conciliate an age and disability discrimination charge filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced.
The EEOC's investigation revealed that JSI failed to hire a class of applicants for various positions because of their disability or age. The evidence obtained by the EEOC indicated that JSI rejected disabled applicants for positions based on alleged safety or other concerns without conducting individualized assessments as required by law. The EEOC also obtained evidence indicating that applicants were rejected for hire because of their ages (40 and older).
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
According to the five-year agreement resolving these charges, the monetary settlement will be divided among the alleged discrimination victims. JSI will conduct annual ADA and ADEA training for all supervisors, managers, human resources officials and company executives. JSI will also provide periodic reports to the EEOC on all applicants; make job offers to the alleged discrimination victims; revise and distribute its internal equal employment opportunity policies to employees; and create an internal task force to ensure that applicants are hired in compliance with the law. Furthermore, JSI will post an internal notice of the violation and will inform its clients that employees will be sent out based solely on their qualifications and without regard to their age, disability or other protected bases.
"Job applicants have the right to be considered for open positions irrespective of their age or stereotypes about their disabilities," said EEOC Philadelphia District Director Jamie R. Williamson. "JSI has shown its commitment to complying with the ADA and ADEA by reaching this agreement with the EEOC."
EEOC Cleveland Field Office Director Cheryl J. Mabry added, "We commend JSI for working cooperatively with us to resolve this matter and hope that JSI will be a model to show other employers in northeast Ohio and across the country the importance of making hiring decisions based on an applicant's ability to do the job, regardless of the applicant's age or disability."
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