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Deaf job applicant wins $225K settlement over discrimination

June 8, 2022 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland, Oregon, software company and its staffing agency will each pay $112,500 to a deaf job applicant who said they refused to hire him because he requested a sign-language interpreter at a group job interview.

Viewpoint Construction Software’s technology helps contractors plan and manage large projects. Its recruiting firm, Seattle-based CampusPoint Corp., focuses on connecting companies with job applicants just out of school.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the firms last year on behalf of Indigo Matthew, a Portland man who applied to work as a product and pricing analyst in 2018, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

The EEOC alleged that Matthew passed an initial screening and requested an American Sign Language interpreter for a group interview at Viewpoint.

The firms refused to pay for the interpreter, according to the EEOC, because they “erroneously assumed that Matthew would need a fulltime interpreter if he was hired for the analyst position.”

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The EEOC alleged he was unable to persuade CampusPoint to revisit the issue.

The settlement, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Portland, requires the firms to take steps to ensure they comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, create an appeals process if it rejects disabled employees or applicants’ requests for accommodations and other measures.

Viewpoint declined to comment on the settlement.