In what some are calling a victory for the working disabled, The Hertz Corporation has agreed to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed against its Denver, Colorado car sales division. The initial lawsuit drew attention to a continuing problem throughout the United States – the inability of those with physical disabilities to gain employment. Though Hertz originally believed that their employee and location did not do anything discriminatory, the company worked to quickly resolve the lawsuit and actively acknowledge the problem while working to make changes that will avoid any similar hiring issues in the future.
When the Englewood, Colorado Hertz office needed to hire experienced sales staff for their car sales location, the company reached out to Norman Newton. Mr. Newton was recruited by Hertz because his online resume cited over 10 years of experience as a car salesperson. After being contacted, Mr. Netwon scheduled an interview with the company’s local sales manager. Instead of focusing on the job duties and Netwon’s experience, the manager began questioning Mr. Newton’s health. Since Mr. Netwon used a cane, the manager did not believe he would have enough mobility to perform his duties as a salesperson.
In spite of going out of their way to contact Norman Newton based on his sales experience, Hertz did not extend an offer of employment to him. Instead, they hired two individuals who were both significantly less experienced than Mr. Newton. Since Mr. Newton’s mobility was the only thing the manager conducting the interview was critical about, Mr. Newton believed that his disability was the sole reason he was not hired. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is meant to protect workers with disabilities who seek employment, but unfortunately, employers within the United States have over 26,000 disability-related discrimination complaints filed against them each year. Mr. Newton’s lawsuit was a result of his complaint made through the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the agency’s inability to reach an agreement with Hertz.
Though initial attempts to reach a pre-litigation settlement failed, The Hertz Corporation was able to get the lawsuit resolved within a six-month period, earning praise from the EEOC. The company has agreed to pay Mr. Newton $45,000 and provide other relief in order to completely settle the lawsuit. Hertz will also apologize to Mr. Newton and retrain their employees to avoid future instances of disability-related discrimination. Employees will also have a notice posted in their Colorado facilities that explain the ADA provisions and encourage employees to report any discrimination that they witness.
Disability Discrimination Relief
Those who have faced disability discrimination at work or while looking for employment do not need to suffer in silence. If you or someone close to you have been a victim, contact a qualified disability discrimination attorney to discuss your experience. The attorneys at HKM Employment are here to talk about what occurred and give you the legal advice you need. Contact our Denver, Colorado office to schedule an initial consultation today.