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Train interviewers to disregard apparent disability

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Employers aren’t supposed to ask about disabilities unless applicants bring them up. That’s to protect disabled applicants from preconceived notions about disability. But ignoring disabilities serves another function: Interviewers can later testify that company policy requires them to consider only qualifications.

Recent case: Evelyn Little, who walks with a limp, applied more than 20 times for jobs with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She was never hired and finally sued, alleging disability discrimination.

But one of the interviewers testified about the department’s practices, which included ignoring disabilities. He said he noticed her limp, but didn’t consider it. Little’s case was dismissed. (Little v. Texas Department of Criminal Justice, No. 10-07-00236, Court of Appeals of Texas, 10th District, 2010)

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