Excerpted from JD SUPRA By U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Company Commits to Ongoing Efforts to Hire and Recruit Deaf and Hard of Hearing Applicants

Cutter Mazda of Honolulu (“Cutter Mazda”) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) entered into a Consent to Settlement and Proposed Order (“Settlement”) resolving a lawsuit filed by the EEOC alleging disability discrimination, the federal agency announced today.

The EEOC alleged that Cutter Mazda failed to hire a deaf applicant due to his disability. Such conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from making employment decisions based on an individual’s disability.

The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii (EEOC v. MJC, Inc. and GAC Auto Group, Inc. DBA Cutter Mazda of Honolulu, et al, Case No. 1:17-cv-00371, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The parties entered into this Settlement to confirm that Cutter Mazda has not and will not engage in or be a party to any action, policy or practice that is intended or is known to them to have the effect of discriminating against any employee or prospective employee on the basis of a disability and/or a perceived disability. As part of the resolution between the parties, Cutter Mazda reaffirmed that it does not tolerate discrimination against employees and/or job applicants. In addition to $42,000 in monetary relief, the two-year settlement resolution includes actions implemented by Cutter Mazda aimed at better preventing instances of alleged workplace discrimination. Cutter Mazda has agreed to provide enhanced ADA training to its employees by its employment counsel. Cutter Mazda will also train its human resources and supervisory/managerial staff on how to better assess and engage in the interactive process and how to better consider an individual with a disability for employment during the interview or hiring process. Additionally, Cutter Mazda committed to train its management and human resources employees on deaf culture, with training to be provided by the State of Hawaii’s Disability and Communication Access Board (DCAB). Cutter Mazda has agreed to increase their recruitment and hiring efforts by notifying the State of Hawaii’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation of Cutter Mazda’s ongoing intent to recruit and accept job applications on a rolling basis from deaf individuals for all entry level jobs.

“We encourage employers to actively recruit and hire deaf individuals. Seventy percent of individuals with disabilities remain unemployed, so we encourage efforts by employers to open up employment opportunities,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District, which includes Hawaii in its jurisdiction.

Glory Gervacio Saure, director of the EEOC’s Honolulu Local Office added, “Providing training and opportunities for employees to learn about different cultures and communities can dispel stereotypes and create a more inclusive work environment. We commend Cutter Mazda for its ongoing equal opportunity efforts and agreeing to host such training sessions with its employees and encourage other employers to consider doing the same.”

As identified in its website, www.cuttermazdahonolulu.com, Cutter Mazda including GAC Auto Group, sells new and certified pre-owned vehicles, provides vehicle finance services, along with automobile repair parts and services.

Eliminating barriers in hiring, especially hiring practices that discriminate against people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by the Commission’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).