Work

36 million dollars in fines for not hiring a deaf truck driver

Can an employer be penalized for refusing to hire a person with a disability?

Deaf driver

We know that deaf individuals face significant challenges in finding employment. And this is not just a problem in Poland. On the 40ton.net website, we learn the story of a deaf truck driver from the USA. He wanted to be employed by a massive transportation company — Werner Enterprises. This company is truly enormous, as it owns around 8,000 trucks! In 2016, deaf Victor Robinson wanted to work for this company as a driver. He possessed all the qualifications necessary to work as a professional truck driver. He also had a special medical document confirming that his lack of hearing was not a hindrance to the job. However, he did not get the job. Why?

Reasons for refusing to hire a deaf person and a lawsuit to court

According to the company, he did not get the job because he refused to be an intern, and he wanted to work as a driver right away. However, the company typically envisions an internship for employees with limited experience.

Yet, according to the deaf employee, it was precisely his lack of hearing that was the reason he did not get the job. He then took the matter to court. He was assisted by an organization dedicated to promoting equal access to employment opportunities. And deaf Victor Robinson emerged victorious in court!

The court determined that the company violated the American Disabilities Act by discriminating against Robinson, who was well-qualified for his position. The court also ruled that the company must pay $75,000 in compensation, as well as punitive damages amounting to a staggering $36 million!

And what do you think – Would he have also won in court in Poland? Or perhaps you are aware of situations where a deaf individual sued an employer for discrimination? If so, please let us know in the comments.

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