Settlement Agreement Under The Americans With Disabilities Act Between The United States Of America And Orleans Parish School Board, New Orleans, Louisiana

A.
BACKGROUND

  1. This case stems from a referral to the United States Department of Justice ("the Department") by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in accordance with Section 107 of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. ァ 12117, upon a finding of reasonable cause and an unsuccessful effort to conciliate.
  2. The charging party, , alleged that the Orleans Parish School Board ("the School Board") discriminated against him on the basis of disability by failing and refusing to provide him with the accommodation of an air-conditioned classroom at A.P. Tureaud Elementary School in the Orleans Parish School system, in violation of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. ァ 12111 et seq., and its implementing regulation, 29 C.F.R. Part 1630.
  3. The position of the Department is that the School Board failed and refused to accommodate in violation of the ADA, Section 102(a) and 102(b)(5)(A), 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12112(a) and 12112(b)(5)(A).
  4. The School Board's position is that it in no way violated any provision of the ADA or the rights of the charging party, and that neither this Agreement nor anything contained in it shall constitute or be construed as a factual or legal admission by the School Board or that any action of the School Board, its officials, agents or employees with respect to the charging party was wrongful, unlawful or in violation of the ADA.

    B.
    THE PARTIES

  5. The School Board is a body corporate and politic created under the laws of the State of Louisiana.
  6. The School Board is a person within the meaning of Section 101(7) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ァ 12111(7), and Section 701 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. ァ 2000e(a).
  7. The School Board is an employer within the meaning of Section 101(5), 42 U.S.C. ァ 12111(5), and a covered entity within the meaning of Section 101(2) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ァ 12111(2).
  8. The Department asserts that the charging party is a person with a disability within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. ァ 12102 (2), and the School Board denies this assertion.
  9. The Department asserts that the charging party is a qualified individual with a disability as defined by sections 101(8) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ァ 12111(8), and the School Board denies this assertion.

    C.
    THE AGREEMENT TERMS

  10. The School Board, by and through its officials, agents, and employees shall not unlawfully discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of disability.
  11. The School Board, by and through its officials, agents, and employees shall not retaliate against any person upon his or her filing of a Charge of Discrimination against the School Board, or any person who has participated in or cooperated with the initiation, investigation, litigation, or resolution of this or any other claim brought against the School Board alleging discrimination on the basis of disability.
  12. The School Board shall provide annual training to its superintendent, executive directors, principals, assistant principals, and Human Resources staff on issues relating to the rights of individuals with disabilities.
  13. The Office of the General Counsel shall coordinate implementation of the School Board's ADA policies and practices as described in paragraph fourteen (14) of this Agreement.
  14. Within three (3) months of the date of this Agreement, the School Board formally shall adopt and implement a written policy to address the legal, employment rights and needs of School Board employees with disabilities, in accordance with the requirements of the ADA. The School Board's ADA Policy is attached to this Settlement as Exhibit "A," and incorporated herein by reference.
  15. Contingent upon execution of the Release Form set forth in Appendix B, the School Board shall offer a position as a special education teacher at a school other than A.P. Tureaud Elementary School in the Orleans Parish School system. This offer shall be conditioned upon obtaining the proper teaching certification.
  16. Contingent upon the conditions set forth in (a), (b) and (c) below, the School Board shall send to by certified mail, return receipt requested, a check payable to him in the amount of $30,000 as full and final settlement of his Charges of Discrimination.
    1. The Department will notify of the terms of this Agreement by mailing to him, by certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the letter in the form set forth in Appendix C and enclosing a copy of the Agreement and a copy of the Release Form attached as Appendix B. The letter identified as Appendix C shall advise that to accept the relief offered, he must return a signed Appendix B Release Form to the Department within thirty (30) days of his receipt of the Appendix C letter unless he shows good cause for his failure to do so.
    2. Following receipt of executed Release Form, the Department will notify the School Board and mail to the School Board a copy of the executed Appendix B Release Form at which time the School Board shall execute this Agreement.
    3. Within thirty (30) days of the School Board's signing of this Agreement, the School Board shall pay to the monetary amount described in paragraph sixteen (16) of this Agreement and shall provide the undersigned Counsel for the United States a copy of said payment and executed Appendix B Release Form.
    D.
    ENFORCEMENT
  17. The Attorney General is authorized to bring a civil action enforcing Title I of the ADA in any situation where a pattern or practice of discrimination is believed to exist or a matter of general public importance is raised. In consideration of the terms of this Agreement, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from taking more formal enforcement action in this matter.
  18. All terms of this Agreement shall become enforceable in federal district court. Failure by the Department of Justice to enforce this entire Agreement with regard to any deadline herein shall not be construed as a waiver of its right to do so with regard to future deadlines and provisions of this Agreement. The Department of Justice may review compliance with this Agreement for two (2) years from the date of the last signature below. In addition, for two (2) years from the date of the last signature below, the School Board agrees to notify the Department of Justice of any denial of a request for accommodation that has been appealed to the Office of the General Counsel (Director of Compliance) and not resolved internally. If the Department believes that this Agreement or any requirement thereof has been violated, it may institute a civil action for relief in federal district court. E.
    PUBLIC AGREEMENT
  19. This document is a public agreement. A copy of this Agreement or any information contained herein may be made available to any person. The School Board or the Department of Justice shall provide a copy of this Agreement to any person upon request. F.
    SCOPE OF AGREEMENT
  20. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement shall be enforceable.

    For the Orleans Parish School Board

    By:____________________________________      Dated:____________
       GAIL M. GLAPION
       PRESIDENT
       3510 General DeGaulle Drive
       New Orleans, Louisiana 70114

    For the United States of America:

    Bill Lann Lee
    Acting Assistant Attorney General
    Civil Rights Division

    By:____________________________________      Dated:____________
       JOHN L. WODATCH
       ALLISON J. NICHOL
       M. LUCIA BLACKSHER
       WHITNEY L. ELLENBY
       Disability Rights Section
       Civil Rights Division
       United States Department of Justice
       Post Office Box 66738
       Washington, D.C. 20035-6738
       TEL: 202.514.8887

    APPROVED AS TO FORM:

    By:____________________________________      Dated:____________
       JOSEPH T. PUHEKKER, ESQ.
       FRANK ENDOM, ESQ.
       Polack, Rosenberg, Endom & Reiss
       Suite 100
       938 Lafayette Street
       New Orleans, Louisiana 70113
       TEL: 504.581.1422
       FAX: 504.581.6974

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Updated August 6, 2015

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