Manhattan U.S. Attorney Settles Lawsuit Against New York City Over Hiring Procedures That Violated The Americans With Disabilities Act
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that the United States has filed and simultaneously settled a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging that NEW YORK CITY (the “City”), and specifically the NEW YORK CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT (“NYPD”), violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) in the course of its failure to hire an applicant for a School Crossing Guard position. The settlement agreement, in the form of a Consent Decree, was filed today by U.S. District Judge Paul A. Crotty.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “The ADA expressly prohibits medical and psychological exams until a conditional offer of employment has been made – so that an applicant will know if his or her disability is the reason he or she didn’t get the job. This transparency in the hiring process is crucial because it protects the applicant from disability-based discrimination that might otherwise be masked by an employer.”
According to the Complaint filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, the applicant applied for the position of School Crossing Guard, and immediately after doing so was directed to report for medical testing. At the time the NYPD directed the applicant to report for medical testing, it had not extended the applicant a conditional offer of employment, in clear violation of the ADA which generally prohibits medical and psychological exams until a conditional offer of employment has been made. After a conditional offer has been made, an employer may then require a prospective employee to undergo a medical examination. The purpose of this two-step process is so that an applicant will be able to discern if he or she was rejected for medical or psychological reasons.
In the Consent Decree, the City admits and acknowledges that it had a hiring procedure at the time that violated the ADA, and agrees to make the applicant a conditional offer of employment and pay her $65,000.
Mr. Bharara thanked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for its initial investigation of the Complaint.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Civil Rights Unit. Assistant United States Attorney David J. Kennedy is in charge of the case.