by Art Gutman Ph.D., Professor, Florida Institute of Technology
In a press release dated 7/11/12, the EEOC announced it is suing Pace Solano, a Solano County, California disability services provider for rescinding a job offer after a medical exam see (http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/7-11-12.cfm). The organizations website (pacesolano.org) boasts that it serves approximately 387 people with developmental disabilities at seven program sites, and employs more than 180 employees who provide care, training, and transportation to its clients. The irony in this case was noted by EEOC Regional Attorney William Tamayo, who stated, “It’s highly ironic that Pace Solano, an organization dedicated to assisting people with disabilities, rejected a fully capable and qualified applicant because of her disability.”
The facts are that Katrina Holley was interviewed and offered a job to teach developmentally disabled adults at one of its facilities. Holley was then asked to take a pre-employment physical exam in which she successfully completed all the tests. However, during exam, she disclosed that she has partial paralysis in one hand. Pace Solano then rescinded the job offer even though her medical doctor offered that she can perform the job despite her physical impairment, and was told “Your injury makes you a liability; you don’t want to get hurt any more than you already are, do you?”
It is clearly ironic that a disability services provider would be sued for violation of the ADA. It is doubly ironic that a disability provider would also be insensitive to a person who has a disability. The EEOC is suing for back pay, lost wages and compensatory and punitive damages for Holly.
July 17, 2012