OFCCP acts as an agent for EEOC settling claims under Section 503 and the Americans with Disabilities Act
American Ordnance LLC, a munitions manufacturer, will pay two former security officers $50k in back pay and other damages for allegedly failing to accommodate them as required by Section 503 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The OFCCP’s Chicago District Office conducted the investigation in response to an individual complaint started on April 9, 2014 and was expanded on July 16, 2015 to include a potential class of workers who were denied accommodations and reinstatement during the jurisdictional review period. During the investigation, the OFCCP identified a second employee who had voluntarily left the company but was allegedly discriminated against for his disabilities during his employment.
The Iowa-based company signed a conciliation agreement (CA) and also agreed to revise its procedures for handling reasonable accommodations, including agreeing to notify all employees of how to make such requests. Additionally, it pledged to audit and evaluate its procedures and to train supervisors about the ADA. As indicated in the CA “current employees and/or applicants who are able to perform the essential functions of the job were prevented from doing so because [American Ordnance] applied a Physical Agility Test (PAT) qualification standard without making allowable reasonable accommodations.” The CA further states that the company could make a reasonable accommodation to the PAT qualification standard that would allow current employees or applicants to perform the essential job function.
OFCCP was able to settle the complaints with allegations under both Section 503 and Title I of the ADA, due to its authority to investigate and resolve them as the EEOC’s agent. Pursuant to 41 CFR Part 60-742, if a complaint is dual filed under both Section 503 and the ADA, the OFCCP uses legal standards for determining liability, as well as damages and remedies, consistent with those applied under the ADA in determining whether the contractor committed an unlawful employment practice.