A national hamburger chain with a big presence in Tennessee just settled a lawsuit for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The facts of the lawsuit involve a gentleman who was denied employment as a cook because he had a hearing disability. Apparently, he was told by the manager that “there is really no place for someone we cannot communicate with”. The manager made this decision without actually knowing whether the impairment would have any impact on the performance of the job or whether there was a reasonable accommodation that could be provided so this willing employee could be put to work.
The ADA prohibits employment discrimination against a qualified disabled individuals who can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations. Also, the definitions of “disability” under the ADA has recently been broadened with regard to who qualifies as being disabled under the act. The ADA applies to all employers with 15 or more employees.
If you have believed you have been discriminated against as a result of a disability please feel free to call one of our Tennessee Labor Attorneys or email our office.