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Beware slow-to-emerge need for accommodation

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Expect a court fight if you reject an applicant you previously agreed to hire because you discovered a hard-to-accommodate disability.

Recent case: Natasha, who has a hearing disability, was offered a job as a county prison guard. An official who interviewed her later testified that Natasha said she could use a two-way radio. When it turned out she couldn’t, the offer was rescinded.

Natasha sued, alleging disability discrimination. The county argued that if it had known about her radio limitations, Natasha never would have been hired. Natasha argued that she never said she could use the radio without accommodation.

The court allowed her case to go to trial so a jury can decide whether she misled interviewers. (Colbert v. Harris County, No. H-13-2770, SD TX, 2014)

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