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Brooklyn complex settles disability bias case

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Managers of the massive federally funded Starrett City housing complex in Brooklyn have settled with the EEOC, bringing a halt to a lawsuit that accused the management company of disability discrimination after it allegedly failed to promote an employee because he suffers from attention deficit disorder.

The EEOC suit claimed that despite his condition, apprentice Ryan Burrowes performed well in his training program and was the most senior apprentice applying for an operating mechanic’s position. The EEOC contends Starrett City management refused to promote Burrowes because of his disability and terminated him when his apprenticeship ended.

The company will pay $25,000 in back pay and $45,000 in compensatory damages. Additionally, the company must train its supervisors about ADA protections for disabled workers. The EEOC will monitor the company for the next two years.

Note: When employees perform well despite their disabilities, employers risk legal trouble if they focus on the disability, not the performance.

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