The EEOC recently announced that it reached a settlement with Jim Walter Resources mine in Brookwood, Alabama on behalf of a disabled employee. The employee suffered from hearing loss and claimed the company continued to assign him to regions of the mine that would harm his hearing aids.

The EEOC says the company agreed to a settlement paying Davis $40,000 and agreed to avoid future discriminatory action. The company has also agreed to train managers how to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

Under the ADA, employers are expected to remove barriers that prevent otherwise qualified individuals with hearing loss from working. The employer is required to provide a disabled employee with a reasonable accomodation to allow them to perform the essential functions of the position.

Reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that permits a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential functions of a job, or to enjoy benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities. For example, reasonable accommodation may include:

  • providing or modifying equipment or devices,
  • job restructuring,
  • part-time or modified work schedules,
  • reassignment to a vacant position,
  • adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies,
  • providing readers and interpreters, and
  • making the workplace readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.

An employer is required to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless the employer can show that the accommodation would be an undue hardship — that is, that it would require significant difficulty or expense.

If you are an Alabama resident and feel you have been discrimated against, please contact our office for a free consultation.

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