When a deaf applicant showed up for a scheduled interview, the manager on site indicated that another manager needed to conduct the interview and was not there. The applicant told the EEOC that the manager was viably uncomfortable and when attempted to communicate through written notes, the manager refused to do the same, mouthing "she's not here."
The EEOC' press release alleges that the manager refused to interview the applicant, even though Cracker Barrel's policy is that job interviews are to be conducted by any manager available. Additionally, that same year, Cracker Barrel hired three dishwashers who were not deaf to work at that location. The EEOC's argues that Cracker Barrel failed to hire the applicant because he is deaf, explaining that "such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination based on disability."
The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-02674-PX) in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
"We filed this lawsuit because Cracker Barrel refused to interview or hire a qualified applicant simply because he is deaf." Said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. "That is cruel and against federal law."
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