EEOC Sues Tech Mahindra for Discriminating Against Deaf Applicant
Technology Company, Tech Mahindra, Refused to Hire Engineer Because He Was Deaf, Federal Agency Charges
ROCHESTER, NY (STL.News) Discrimination Case – Tech Mahindra (Americas) Inc., a large technology company, violated federal law by abruptly ending its interview with a qualified applicant for an engineering role and failing to hire the applicant because he was deaf, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, in November 2022, Robert Rademacher interviewed for a job as an automation engineer with Tech Mahindra. Upon realizing Rademacher was deaf and using a sign-language interpreter, Tech Mahindra abruptly stopped the interview and told him he was not going to get the job. Tech Mahindra followed up with an email telling him, “While you have the perfect skill set for this role, it would be a challenge having an inter[preter] on-site.” Rademacher explained that an onsite interpreter was not necessary, as there was technology that could allow for virtual interpretation. Tech Mahindra still refused to hire him.
Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified applicants based on their disability. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York (EEOC v. Tech Mahindra (Americas) Inc., Civil Action No. 6:23-cv-06397) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC seeks back pay, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the applicant, as well as injunctive relief designed to remedy and prevent future disability discrimination in the hiring process.
“The ADA protects applicants who are deaf and hard of hearing from being denied job opportunities because of their disability,” said Jeffrey Burstein, regional attorney for the EEOC’s New York District Office. “The EEOC is committed to holding employers accountable when they make hiring decisions based on an applicant’s disability rather than the applicant’s skills and qualifications.”
“Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing are often illegally denied opportunities for employment because of assumptions and stereotypes,” said EEOC’s New York Acting District Director Timothy Riera. “This lawsuit sends a message that such conduct is against the law and will not be tolerated.”
The EEOC’s New York District Office is responsible for processing discrimination charges, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency litigation in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, northern New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The agency’s Buffalo Local Office conducted the investigation resulting in this lawsuit.
Editor Comment: The person conducting the interview should also be reprimanded or fired. This is not only a company problem but a case of poor judgment.