Blind World

T-Mobile settles discrimination suit for $40,000.

June 29, 2005.
Kansas City Business Journal.

Wireless company T-Mobile USA will pay $40,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit alleging that it had failed to reasonably accommodate a blind job applicant and hire him at its Lenexa facility in 2002.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan. The suit alleged that T-Mobile USA had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by discriminating against Jose Lopez because of his blindness, the EEOC said in a written release Wednesday.

The settlement, in the form of a consent decree that awaits court approval, requires T-Mobile to pay the money to Lopez; implement procedures to provide reasonable accommodation to job applicants and employees; provide training on the ADA to its management employees nationwide; establish an information systems task force to evaluate software that increases accessibility for blind users as it becomes available; and prepare the company to use the software.

Anne Gusewelle, a senior trial attorney with the EEOC, said that T-Mobile denied any wrongdoing in the case.

"When a qualified worker is stopped at the door before filling out a job application -- simply because of a physical disability that can be accommodated -- both the company and the worker lose, Robert Johnson, regional attorney for the EEOC's St. Louis District Office, said in the release.

End of article.

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