EEOC: Hotel Told Employee With Disability That Applying For Promotion Was ‘Waste Of His Time’

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The Red Roof Inn will pay to settle a discrimination lawsuit after telling a blind employee in Ohio not to apply for a promotion, according to federal authorities.

The employee wanted to attend an information session about a promotional opportunity at the Red Roof Inn contact center in Springfield, Ohio, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said. He emailed requesting an accommodation to attend the session remotely and “expressing his interest in possibly applying” for the position, the agency said in the complaint.

The hotel responded saying it wanted “to get the bugs worked out” and could not offer the session remotely, the lawsuit said.

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The hotel also said “it would be a waste of his time to apply for the position because his visual impairment could not be accommodated,” the EEOC said.

The Red Roof Inn told McClatchy News it “respects the rights of any individual with a disability” and “rejected the claims brought by the EEOC.”

Based on the hotel’s response, the employee, who was “fully qualified” for the position, did not attend the information session or submit a formal application, “despite his interest,” the EEOC said in the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Western Division at Dayton.

The incident happened in May 2018, and the employee filed a complaint with the EEOC the following month, the lawsuit said.

The EEOC said the hotel violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and denied the employee the promotion “when it failed to accommodate” his efforts to learn about and compete for the promotion.

The hotel said it “settled this case to avoid the cost of further litigation. … We are pleased to have this matter resolved.”

The company will pay the “now former employee” $43,188 in relief, federal officials said.

Springfield is about 45 miles west of Columbus.

© 2023 McClatchy News
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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