Home USA News A company fired a deaf employee in Colorado, federal officials say

A company fired a deaf employee in Colorado, federal officials say

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Federal officials say a Colorado company discriminated against a deaf employee when it fired her after she asked for an American-language interpreter for meetings.

Federal officials say a Colorado company discriminated against a deaf employee when it fired her after she asked for an American-language interpreter for meetings.

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A Colorado company discriminated against a deaf employee when it fired her after she requested an American Sign Language interpreter for meetings, federal officials say.

The employee sued the company, Pneuline Supply, parts manufacturer in Greeley — about 55 miles north of Denver — after she fired her in May 2018, according to court documents.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Nov. 10 that Pneuline Supply will be ordered to pay the woman $44,250 and “provide other relief” to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit, the agency said in a news release.

According to court documents, the company hired the employee as a picker in 2017 and provided her with a certified ASL interpreter for the first few weeks. Later that year, the company also hired the employee’s daughter and began using her as an interpreter for the employee, even though she is not a certified ASL interpreter.

The employee began to file complaints with the company’s HR department and asked for an official American translator. In a complaint filed in March 2018, she said she was frequently excluded from work-related discussions, according to court documents.

The company repeatedly denied her request, and in May 2018 told her that “you are always welcome to email and/or write any questions or comments you may have,” according to court documents. A staff member who is fluent in ASL is not fluent in English. Fluency in English is not a requirement for her job, court documents say.

In late May 2018, the company fired her “because of her hearing disability or the need to make reasonable accommodations for her hearing disability,” according to court documents.

Pneuline Supply declined a request for comment from McClatchy News.

The company will also have to “review and update its disability discrimination and reasonable accommodation policies,” post a non-discrimination notice and train its managers and human resources employees in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

“The ADA prohibits employers from firing or refusing to hire employees simply because they may need to provide them with reasonable accommodations in the future,” said District Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill, who works in the Phoenix district office of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. in the statement. “Nor can employers use a discrimination complaint as an opportunity to fire them. This is illegal revenge.”

Madeleine List is a reporter for McClatchy National Real-Time. She has reported for the Cape Cod Times and the Providence Journal.

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