Chalk up another poor fish shot in the barrel by the EEOC.
“’Shooting fish in a barrel’ is our way of describing the EEOC’s targeting of heath care providers for disability discrimination claims under the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”).” We wrote that on January 9, 2014 — just three short weeks ago. (See our recent posts on December 13, 2013 entitled “When Will Medical Providers Learn Not To Be ‘Fish In A Barrel’ To Be Shot By The EEOC?,” and cases and commentary in our posts of August 3, 2013, September 6, 2013, and October 19, 2013.
We zero in on all lawsuits filed by the EEOC against medical professionals and health care facilities for alleged violations of the ADA, and have suggested many times that the EEOC targets these facilities for disability discrimination claims likely because they are fairly easy marks. In fact, a good many, if not most of the ADA case filings we have seen recently are against medical or health care facilities. Think about it — how do you think the public reacts to doctors and clinics, who are there to treat the sick and injured, being sued for allegedly discriminating against their own employees who are sick or injured?
Once again, the EEOC has struck. It just announced that it has sued a NJ nursing care facility, alleging that after it offered two part-time positions to an applicant who is deaf it refused to hire him because of his disability. The claim is that when he was called in for a follow-up interview with different managers he was “grilled about his ability to communicate,” after which he was informed that the facility had “decided to pursue more experienced candidates.”
The EEOC said that: “Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, women, and people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).”
And the EEOC intends to go after the low hanging fruit first.