Deaf Employees Refused Interpreters

A workplace agency for people with disabilities is being sued by the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) for denying deaf employees an interpreter. According to this HR Drive article by Emilie Shumway, Opportunities and Resources, Inc., based in Honolulu, denied deaf employees on multiple occasions a sign language interpreter for meetings. Allegedly, the agency asked another deaf employee to interpret, which kept them from fully participating in the meeting.

According to the article, employers must provide employees with the accommodations that best serve the employee. The article quotes the director of EEOC’s office in Honolulu, Raymond Griffin, Jr., “Employers cannot, on their own, decide what accommodations will meet the needs of an employee.”

First Response recognizes the importance of providing your employees with an equitable workplace environment, which is why we work alongside you in creating systems that protect you and your employees. We understand the importance of working and collaborating with employees who request an accommodation and the importance of the interactive process required to be successful.  Our services include access to our  Employee Hotlineand an HR advisor to guide you as you strengthen your workplace culture.


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