Hawaii Electric Company to Pay $50,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., will pay $50,000 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed. The lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). HECO, an electric distribution company, is the primary energy provider for the Hawaiian islands. The complaint alleged that HECO denied an employee a meter reader position due to an eye condition. The employee had a congenital eye condition resulting in blindness in one eye. The employee applied for a position of meter reader. He was denied the position because HECO assumed that he could not do the job because of his disability. However, the employee is fully capable of doing the primary job duties of reading and recording changes in electric meters at different customer locations. Full article.

Refusal to hire a qualified individual due to his disability violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. The ADA does not specifically name all of the impairments that are covered, but common examples of disabilities include confinement to a wheelchair, reliance on assistive devices such as canes and walkers, blindness, deafness, a learning disability, and certain kinds of mental illness. The ADA states that a business entity shall not discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability. This applies to job application procedures, hiring, advancement and discharge of employees, workers’ compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. For more information: ADA Website

Leeds Brown Law, PC practices in matters of employment discrimination throughout Long Island and the New York City area. For more information, contact Leeds, Morelli and Brown, PC at 1-800-585-4658 for a free consultation.