The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on May 11 announced a settlement with a staffing firm and a staffing buyer over alleged disability discrimination. Conduent State and Local Solutions, a business services provider in New York, and Broadleaf Results, a Buffalo, New York-based staffing firm, will pay $120,000 and provide other relief in the settlement, though an attorney for the staffing firm denied the allegations in the lawsuit and the staffing firm did not admit wrongdoing. The buyer also denied wrongdoing.
According to the EEOC, a worker placed by Broadleaf to work as a customer service representative at Conduent’s E-ZPass Customer Service Center in Staten Island notified both Broadleaf and Conduent supervisors about difficulties hearing customer calls and requested an accommodation for hearing-related conditions. However, the worker was terminated, according to the EEOC.
Such action can violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the EEOC. However, an attorney representing the staffing firm said the company denied the allegations and the staffing buyer also denies wrongdoing or liability.
“Broadleaf denies all of Ms. Peters’ allegations, and its decision to settle this matter with a consent decree was solely economic and pragmatic to avoid protracted and costly litigation,” Amy Habib Rittling, Broadleaf’s counsel from Lippes Mathias LLP, told Staffing Industry Analysts. “Broadleaf has admitted no wrongdoing under this settlement. Broadleaf has always maintained and continues to maintain an inclusive workplace free from unlawful discrimination.”
In addition to $120,000 in lost wages and other damages, Broadleaf and Conduent will provide the employee with nonmonetary relief. The companies will also update their internal policies and provide mandatory training for management employees about federal anti-disability discrimination laws.
“Conduent worked diligently with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to resolve this matter through a settlement related to a third-party staffing agency employee assigned to work at Conduent,” according to a statement by Conduent State and Local Solutions. “Conduent entered into the agreement to avoid further litigation and denies any wrongdoing or liability, including any liability as a joint employer of the staffing agency employee. The company remains committed to maintaining a fair and equitable workplace for prospective and current employees and contingent workers in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.”