Settlement Agreement Under The Americans With Disabilities Act Between The United States Of America And Prince William County Public School Board Prince William County, Virginia

DJ #205-79-29

BACKGROUND

1. This case stems from a referral to the United States Department of Justice (“the Department") from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”) in accordance with Section 107 of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12117, upon a finding of reasonable cause and an unsuccessful effort to conciliate.

2. The charging party alleged that the Prince William County Public School Board (“Respondent”) discriminated against her by refusing to renew her contract as a teacher, because of her disability, multiple sclerosis, in violation of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12111 et. seq., and its implementing regulation, 29 C.F.R. Part 1630.

3. The position of the Department of Justice is that the Respondent refused to renew the contract of the charging party because of her disability, multiple sclerosis, thereby discriminating against her on the basis of disability in violation of Section 102 of Title I of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12112, and the Title I Regulation, 29 C.F.R. Part 1630. The Respondent’s position is that it did not violate any provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act 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 Respondent that any action of the Respondent, its officers, directors, principals, agents, or employees with respect to the charging party was wrongful, unlawful, or in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

THE PARTIES

4. To resolve this matter without litigation, the parties have agreed to settle this matter according to the terms set forth below. The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and the Prince William County Public School Board.

5. The Respondent is a person within the meaning of Section 101(7) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12111(7), and Section 701 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(a).

6. The Respondent is an employer or an agent of an employer within the meaning of Section 101(5) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12111(5), and is a covered entity within the meaning of Section 101(2) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12111(2).

7. The Charging Party has multiple sclerosis and is a person with a disability within the meaning of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. § 12102(2) and 29 C.F.R. § 1630.2(g).

8. The Charging Party contends that she is a qualified individual with a disability as defined by Sections 101(8) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12111(8) and its implementing regulation, 29 C.F.R. § 1630.2(m).

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY AGREED THAT :

9. The Respondent contends that at all relevant times it has abided by the ADA, and it agrees that, by and through its officials, agents, employees and all persons in active concert or participation with the Respondent, itshall not engage in any act or practice that has the purpose or effect of unlawfully discriminating against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of disability, including individuals having multiple sclerosis, in violation of the ADA.

10. In exchange for a release of liability executed by Charging Party, Respondent has agreed to reinstate Charging Party as a probationary elementary school teacher with the Prince William County Public Schools for the 2004-2005 school year at the following school: Respondent will assist Charging Party in obtaining an extension of time from the Virginia Department of Education within which to complete any outstanding re-certification requirements; however, the duty to meet those requirements shall remain with Respondent

11. The Respondent contends that at all relevant times it has not retaliated against any person in connection with an EEOC charge or investigation, and it agrees that, by and through its officials, agents, employees and all persons in active concert or participation with the Respondent, itshall not retaliate against any person who: (1) opposes or has opposed policies or practices he or she believes to discriminate on the basis of disability; (2) has filed an EEOC charge; or (3) has participated in or cooperated with the initiation, investigation, litigation, or resolution of this or any other claim brought against the Respondent alleging discrimination on the basis of disability.

12. The Respondent agrees to notify the Charging Party of the terms of this Agreement by mailing to her by certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the Agreement and Respondent’s release of claims form. By said letter the Respondent shall advise the Charging Party that to accept the relief offered, she must return a signed release form to the Respondent within thirty (30) days of her receipt of the release form and prior to any reinstatement unless she shows good cause for her failure to do so.

13. Respondent has offered Charging Party a position at a Prince William County Elementary School as a probationary teacher as stated in paragraph 10, with the same rights and obligations as any other probationary teacher, and with job duties, salary, andbenefits comparable to her previous position. If Charging Party accepts this offer, her personnel record will reflect that she was on a medical leave of absence prior to her reinstatement. However, in order to become eligible for continuing contract status, Charging Party must teach for three continuous years within the Prince William County Public School System as required by Virginia Code §22.1-303.

14. Within ten days of the date of this Agreement, the Respondent shall post the notice, signed by the Respondent’s management, attached to this Agreement as Exhibit A. The notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place, where it can be seen by all employees, and shall remain posted for a period of at least 60 days.

15. Within thirty (30) days of the date of this Agreement, the Respondent shall include in its employee handbook, a policy of non-discrimination in employment against individuals with disabilities, as currently set forth at Prince William County School Board Policy 060 and Regulation 060-3.

16. Both parties recognize that Respondent currently conducts an annualtraining program for all personnel who have any responsibility for implementing the Respondent’s policy with respect to employeeswith disabilities, including multiple sclerosis. Respondent agrees to continue such training which includes,but is not necessarily limited to principals, assistant principals, and other supervisors and managers. The training program will include an explanation of the Respondent's policy with respect to employees who have disabilities, such as multiple sclerosis, including hiring, promotion, and refusal to renew contracts of teachers and all other personnel, as required by the ADA and the responsibilities of those employees under the ADA and the Respondent’s policy.

17. Respondent will continue to provide annual training to principals, assistant principals, and other supervisors and managers on issues relating to the rights of individuals with disabilities, including hiring, promotion, and refusal to renew contracts of teachers and all other personnel, as required by the ADA.

ENFORCEMENT

18. 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.

19. Failure by the Department of Justice to enforce any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of its right to enforce any other provision of this Agreement. The Department of Justice may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department believes that this Agreement or any provision of it has been violated, the Department may institute a civil action for relief in federal district court.

EFFECTIVE DATE

20. This Agreement shall become effective as of the date of the last signature below and shall remain in effect for three years from that date. This Agreement shall be binding on any successor in interest to the Respondent, and the Respondent has a duty to so notify all such successors in interest.

SCOPE OF AGREEMENT

21. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the Department and the Respondent 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. This Agreement is limited to the matters raised in the EEOC charge number 100-A1-0476, DJ # 205-79-29, and does not address any other issues of ADA compliance by the Respondent. This Agreement does not affect the Respondent's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

22. A signor of this document in a representative capacity for the Respondent as a partnership, corporation, or other such legal entity, represents that he or she is authorized to bind such partnership, corporation, or other legal entity to this agreement.


For the United States:


JOHN ASHCROFT, Attorney General
R. ALEXANDER ACOSTA, Assistant Attorney General
of the United States Civil Rights Division

By: ______________________________ Date: ___________

JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
ALLISON J. NICHOL, Deputy Chief
HAROLD L. JACKSON, Attorney
U.S. Department of Justice
Disability Rights Section-NYA
Civil Rights Division, Room 3016
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 305-7624

For: Prince William County Public School Board

By: __________________ Date: ___________

Lucy Beauchamp
Chairman, Prince William County School Board

EXHIBIT A

NOTICE TO EMPLOYEES

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADA), prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of disability. The ADA makes it unlawful to discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability because of the disability of such individual in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees including selection and retention of teachers, employee compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.

The Prince William County Public School Board will not engage in any of the above unlawful acts or practices, and it will make all hiring, promotion, and termination decisions and conduct other personnel decisions in a manner which does not discriminate against an individual on the basis of disability.

The Prince William County Public School Board will not discriminate or retaliate in any manner against any person because of opposition to any practice declared unlawful under the ADA or because of the filling of a charge, the giving of testimony or assistance, or the participation in any investigation, proceeding, or hearing.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") is the federal agency primarily responsible for investigating individual charges of discrimination under Title I of the ADA. Any individual who believes that he or she has been discriminated against in violation of the ADA, or who desires more information on the ADA or other employment discrimination statutes can contact the EEOC at the following address and phone number:


Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Washington Field Office
1400 L Street NW, Suite 200
Phone No. (202) 275-7377
FAX No. (202) 275-6834
TTY No. (202) 275-7518

The Prince William County Public School Board supports and will comply with the ADA in all respects.

_____________
Date

_________________________________
Signature

_________________________________
Chairman, Prince William County School Board

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Updated August 6, 2015

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