Employee was dyslexic, employer couldn’t read — the ADA, that is
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Employee was dyslexic, employer couldn’t read — the ADA, that is

You already know that you have to consider job accommodations for employees and applicants with disabilities. But don’t forget that these accommodations may extend to testing related to the person’s work or job application.

A Dollar General store in Muncie, IN, ran afoul of this part of the ADA when it demoted an employee for failing to complete a written test that was part of a computer-based training course.

Help with a test
The employee was dyslexic, and asked for help reading the test. The employer refused his request, and told him that if he didn’t complete the test on his own, he would be demoted. He refused to take the test without accommodation, and the store reassigned him to a position with lower pay and fewer hours.

The EEOC sued Dollar General for failing to accommodate the employee, and the company has now settled the lawsuit for $47,500.

‘Interactive process’
Remember: Employers have a duty to engage in an “interactive process” – the legal term for a conversation – about possible accommodations for employees or applicants with disabilities.

That duty also covers job-related testing. An employee taking a job-related test, or an applicant taking a test to gauge suitability for employment, may need such accommodations as, for example:

  • an accessible location for people with mobility impairments,
  • a sign interpreter for a deaf person, or
  • a reader for a blind person.

You don’t necessarily have to provide the accommodation the person wants, and in the end it may not be possible to provide any accommodation. But you must at least have a good-faith discussion about it.

Cite: EEOC v. Dolgencorp

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