[nfbwatlk] FW: Blind but qualified: Dismissed candidate sues and wins big

Nightingale, Noel Noel.Nightingale at ed.gov
Tue Feb 16 17:03:42 UTC 2010

From: Noel Nightingale [mailto:nnightingale at earthlink.net]
Sent: Friday, February 12, 2010 6:36 PM
To: Nightingale, Noel
Subject: FW: Blind but qualified: Dismissed candidate sues and wins big

From: Olson, Toby [mailto:TOlson2 at ESD.WA.GOV]
Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2010 2:26 PM
Subject: Blind but qualified: Dismissed candidate sues and wins big

HRMorning.com<http://www.hrmorning.com/> > Blind but qualified: Dismissed candidate sues and wins big
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Blind but qualified: Dismissed candidate sues and wins big<http://www.hrmorning.com/blind-but-qualified-dismissed-candidate-sues-and-wins-big/>
February 8, 2010 by Sam Narisi
Posted in: Disability discrimination<http://www.hrmorning.com/category/discrimination/disability-discrimination/>, HR Tech<http://www.hrmorning.com/category/hr-tech/>, Special Report - Tech<http://www.hrmorning.com/category/special-report-tech/>


Here's an easy recipe for a lawsuit: A manager sees a resume and likes the candidate's qualifications - but after meeting the applicant in person, immediately changes his mind.

That happened in one recent case.

An employee applied online for a job at debt collection agency. She had eight years of relevant experience, and the hiring manager liked her qualifications enough to invite her in for an interview.

But once the candidate met the manager in person, she was immediately turned down for the job. Why? Apparently because she was blind.

According to the candidate, once the manager realized she was blind, he told her, "This isn't going to work out," and sent her on her way.

The woman tried to explain that she'd spent eight years doing similar work for eight with the help of assistive technology for the blind, but again the manager told her she wouldn't be considered for the job.

She took her complaints to the EEOC, which helped her sue. She won a $55,000 settlement.

This case highlights the need to train managers on disability discrimination while recruiting. Advances in technology have made it possible to accommodate more qualified employees than ever - and at a lower cost. According to a recent study by the Job Accommodation Network, 56% of accommodations cost nothing at all, while another 37% involve only a small, one-time cost ($600 on average).

As this case shows, failing to explore those options can create big legal problems - but that's not all. As the EEOC's lawyer in the case noted, the candidate had been successful performing similar work in the past, and company missed out on her skills and expertise.

Cite: EEOC v. Sentry Credit, Inc.
*         [image002.gif] <http://www.addtoany.com/share_save?linkurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hrmorning.com%2Fblind-but-qualified-dismissed-candidate-sues-and-wins-big%2F&linkname=Blind%20but%20qualified%3A%20Dismissed%20candidate%20sues%20and%20wins%20big>

Tags: disability<http://www.hrmorning.com/tag/disability/>, Discrimination<http://www.hrmorning.com/tag/discrimination/>, online applicant<http://www.hrmorning.com/tag/online-applicant/>

4 Responses to "Blind but qualified: Dismissed candidate sues and wins big"

 1.  Tweets that mention Blind but qualified: Dismissed candidate sues and wins big | HR Morning | Your daily dose of HR -- Topsy.com<http://topsy.com/tb/www.hrmorning.com/blind-but-qualified-dismissed-candidate-sues-and-wins-big/> Says:
February 8th, 2010 at 4:42 pm<http://www.hrmorning.com/blind-but-qualified-dismissed-candidate-sues-and-wins-big/#comment-46367#comment-46367>

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by HRMorning and Sandra Young, Matt Stiles. Matt Stiles said: RT @Benifys Blind but qualified: Dismissed candidate sues and wins big http://bit.ly/bux68z #hr [...]

 1.  Flee Says:
February 9th, 2010 at 2:02 pm<http://www.hrmorning.com/blind-but-qualified-dismissed-candidate-sues-and-wins-big/#comment-46546#comment-46546>

I can see where a blind employee could be a positive in a few ways: HR coup for promotional materials about how equality minded the firm is; they should be less easily distracted by the usual visual problems that sighted employees face. For the low cost of accomodation the firm could reap large benefits provided the candidate is truly qualified. The firm missed the boat on this one and was penalized for it.

 1.  Robert Says:
February 9th, 2010 at 3:22 pm<http://www.hrmorning.com/blind-but-qualified-dismissed-candidate-sues-and-wins-big/#comment-46557#comment-46557>

What the Sentry manager missed was the applicant's statement that "she'd spent 8 years doing similar work." We hired a blind fellow for a telephone reception and referral service. We had some questions about how he was going to read the computer, but he and his former employer helped us secure the appropriate computer software. He's doing a great job.

When someone has real experience that should be a main consideration in selection. A blind person may have a different kind of experience than we expect. Let the person with the disability help figure out problem areas - they are the expert on working with their disability.

We also found EEOC guidelines on interviewing the blind helpful.

 1.  Bart Anderson Says:
February 9th, 2010 at 3:33 pm<http://www.hrmorning.com/blind-but-qualified-dismissed-candidate-sues-and-wins-big/#comment-46560#comment-46560>

Looks to me like is was the HR professional who was blind, deaf, (and stupid)!

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