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Grocery chain settles after violating anti-discrimination law

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2021 | Employment Discrimination

In every U.S. state, including Hawaii, private businesses with 15 or more workers must adhere to anti-discrimination regulations that are set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Recently, a grocery chain failed to meet the standards. Consequently, the company must now pay a hefty fine and implement training to ensure compliance in the future.

Sprouts settles after violating EEOC standards

Sprouts Farmers Market, a grocery chain, must pay three deaf people $280,000 for violating standards contained in the ADA. An EEOC lawsuit charged that the company denied employment to people with hearing impairments and failed to provide reasonable accommodation during the application process.

How did Sprouts discriminate against applicants?

The issue began when Sprouts contacted deaf plaintiffs for interviews, and the candidates requested American Sign Language interpreters for their respective interviews. When the applicants didn’t hear back with dates and times, they followed up and were ignored.

By failing to furnish the requested interpreters and ignoring their inquiries, Sprouts violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires private sector employers to provide reasonable accommodation to job seekers who are hard of hearing or live with other disabilities.

Consequences of violating EEOC standards and the ADA

Sprouts must pay $280,000 in discrimination damages to the injured parties. The company is also bound to a consent decree requiring it to implement an ADA training program. If the market violates any EEOC standards during its probationary period, it could face millions of dollars in additional fines.

Everyone deserves a comfortable workplace free from discrimination. EEOC standards matter, and speaking up makes a difference.