INTERNATIONAL US: Randstad pays $60k to settle disability discrimination lawsuit
Fri, 11 May 2012
Staffing firm Randstad US is to pay $60k (£37k) to settle a lawsuit bought against it by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which alleged it had put a jobseeker’s application on hold upon learning that he had Asperger’s syndrome.
Jason O’Dell had applied for a job as a lab technician through Randstad and had originally had his application fast-tracked due to his qualifications, the EEOC notes.
Once he disclosed his disability, he was told that the position had been put “on hold” – he was not hired and Randstad continued to recruit for the position, the EEOC adds.
Alongside the money to be paid to O’Dell, Randstad will also create an account for the jobseeker on its Randstad University Online Training Centre and permit him to take 10 classes, courses or other training programmes free of charge. It will also strengthen its anti-discrimination policy and practice within Maryland, the state within which the incident occurred.
EEOC regional attorney Debra M Lawrence says: “Employers must make employment decisions based on the applicant’s ability to perform the duties of the job, not uninformed prejudices or irrational fears.
“We brought this lawsuit because the underlying purpose of the ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] is to eliminate employment discrimination for people with disabilities who are qualified to do the job.”