Balance Staffing’s short-sighted treatment of a visually impaired recruiter will cost it $100,000 to settle a disability discrimination suit.
Balance Staffing, a nationwide temp agency, hired Jocelyn Snower when it began operating in Illinois. Snower was an experienced recruiter, but company owner Robert Feinstein did not know she was blind when he hired her. When he found out, he immediately fired her even though she had already recruited several people.
Snower filed a complaint with the EEOC, claiming disability discrimination under Title I of the ADA. When conciliation efforts failed, the EEOC filed suit.
Balance decided to settle before the case went to trial. In addition to the money, Balance’s owner and manager must undergo disability discrimination training and must report any disability discrimination complaints directly to the EEOC for the next three years.
Final note: The ADA bars employers from discriminating against disabled employees as long as the employee can perform the job’s essential functions with or without reasonable accommodation. In this case, Snower’s blindness was no obstacle to recruiting qualified employees. In fact, she asked for no reasonable accommodation because she required none.