Justice Department Reaches Agreement With Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to Resolve Disability Discrimination Complaint
The Justice Department filed a proposed consent decree today to resolve a complaint that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) discriminated against a job applicant on the basis of his disability, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The department’s complaint alleges that WMATA extended a job offer as an elevator/escalator parts supervisor to an applicant but withdrew the offer upon learning that the applicant had epilepsy. The complaint further alleges that WMATA failed to discuss with the applicant how his disability might affect his ability to do the job or whether there were any available accommodations that would allow him to do the job.
As part of the consent decree, which is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, WMATA will institute new policies to ensure that employees and job applicants with disabilities have the opportunity to confer with WMATA about their limitations as well as opportunities for reasonable accommodation in the workplace. WMATA will also ensure that supervisors are fully trained in those policies. In addition, WMATA has agreed to pay $175,000 in compensatory damages to the applicant. This matter was based on a referral from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Washington Field Office, which completed the initial investigation of the facts.
“The ADA mandates that job applicants with disabilities receive fair and equal consideration in the hiring process,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This settlement provides for new hiring policies that will protect against discriminatory practices and safeguard the rights of all individuals with disabilities who seek employment with WMATA. We commend WMATA for agreeing to revise its policies and offering to compensate the job applicant.”
“The discriminatory conduct in this case deprived a qualified candidate of a job opportunity and caused him economic and emotional stress,” said U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips of the District of Columbia. “This case shows there will be consequences for employers who fail to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. We are pleased that WMATA recognizes the need for new policies and will compensate the job candidate.”
To read the consent decree, please visit http://www.ada.gov/wmata/wmata_cd.html. For more information on the Civil Rights Division, please visit www.justice.gov/crt. For more information on the Civil Rights Division’s Disability Rights Section, please call the department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (TDD 800-514-0383) or visit www.ada.gov.