The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

PRESS RELEASE
9-25-09

EEOC SUES BALANCE STAFFING FOR DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION

Staffing Firm Took Job From Qualified Woman Because of Her Blindness, Federal Agency Charges

CHICAGO – In a lawsuit filed here today in federal court, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged that a nationwide staffing company unlawfully discriminated against a blind woman in Chicago because of her disability.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Balance Staffing made a job offer to the woman to work at its planned Chicago office with an official start date, and she began performing services for them from home. The company later discovered that she is blind, the EEOC said, and rescinded the job offer. The EEOC maintains that Balance Staffing had in fact already hired her, accepted her work, and refused to pay her any wages for the weeks of service that she had already provided. Balance Staffing has since ceased its operations in Chicago.

Discrimination in employment on account of disability violates Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Today’s lawsuit, captioned EEOC v. Balance Staffing and Balance Staffing d/b/a Balance Financial, Inc., No. 09 CV-06004, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago after the agency first attempted to resolve the matter with the employer through its voluntary conciliation process.

“Congress enacted the ADA to ensure the rights of individuals with disabilities. Employers who rely on stereotypes and misconceptions about disabled persons in making employment decisions should be warned that they risk liability for violating federal civil rights law,” said EEOC Chicago Regional Attorney John Hendrickson.

The government’s litigation effort will be led by EEOC Supervisory Trial Attorney Diane I. Smason and Trial Attorney Laura R. Feldman.

The EEOC’s Chicago District Office is responsible for processing charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and North and South Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the Commission is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.


This page was last modified on September 25, 2009.

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