Qualified Candidate Denied Hire Because of Asperger’s, Federal Agency Charged
BALTIMORE – A large nationwide employment referral and placement services company will pay $60,000 and furnish substantial injunctive relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-01303-WDQ), filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Randstad US, LP refused to hire Jason O’Dell, who applied for employment with Randstad's Frederick, Md.,branch,because of his disability, Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. Based on his qualifications for the lab technician position he sought, Randstad had originally fast-tracked O’Dell’s participation in the hiring process. Soon after he disclosed the disability, however, O’Dell was told that the lab technician position had been put “on hold,” and he was not hired. Meanwhile,Randstad continued to recruit for the position.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which makes it unlawful to discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to the monetary relief of $60,000 to be paid to O’Dell, the consent decree settling the suit provides significant remedial relief. Randstad will:
“Employers must make employment decisions based on the applicant’s ability to perform the duties of the job, not uninformed prejudices or irrational fears,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. “We brought this lawsuit because the underlying purpose of the ADA is to eliminate employment discrimination for people with disabilities who are qualified to do the job.”
According to its website, www.Randstadusa.com, Randstad is one of the industry's largest recruitment companies, with a nationwide network of nearly 350 branch locations in the United States.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.