The federal government is suing an employment agency with offices across the country alleging discrimination after a man with Asperger’s syndrome was denied a job shortly after disclosing his disability.
Jason O’Dell applied for work as a lab technician through a Randstad office in Frederick, Md. The company was initially quite interested in O’Dell, but soon after he revealed his Asperger’s diagnosis, O’Dell was told that hiring for the position was “on hold,” according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission this month.
Nonetheless, Randstad continued to recruit for the position, the suit alleges, and did not give further consideration to O’Dell.
The EEOC charges that Randstad acted in in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act and is seeking back wages for O’Dell, punitive damages and wants the company to change its policies with regard to hiring individuals with disabilities.
“We brought this lawsuit because of Randstad’s dismissive treatment of Mr. O’Dell based on its apparent presumptions about individuals with disabilities and their ability to be productive employees,” said Debra M. Lawrence, a regional attorney with the EEOC. “It is exactly this type of prejudicial and stereotypical decision making that the ADA aims to eradicate.”