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Man with dwarfism says York Co. discriminated. Here’s how much the county will pay him

Gavel illustration
Gavel illustration Observer file

York County government has agreed to pay $20,000 in compensation to a man with dwarfism who sued under the Americans with isabilities Act.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced its settlement with York County Monday. The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the county after a person said the county discriminated against him when he applied for a job.

The complainant, a man who has dwarfism, said he applied for a purchasing manager position, according to a Department of Justice statement. The statement says York County required applicants to have a driver’s license even though being able to drive isn’t essential to the job.

The man does not have a driver’s license due to his disability, the statement says, and was “unfairly screened out” from the job. The county did not waive the driver’s license requirement for the man, the statement says.

“People with disabilities deserve the opportunity to compete for jobs on a level playing field,” U.S. Attorney Sherri A. Lydon said in a statement. “This settlement agreement ensures that people with disabilities will have an equal chance to compete for public sector jobs. We commend York County for its cooperation and efforts to ensure accessibility and fairness in the job application process.”

The settlement requires York County to “revise its policies to ensure compliance with the ADA, designate an ADA Coordinator, ensure that its job listings list only essential job functions as mandatory requirements, train relevant employees on the ADA,” and report the updates to the Department of Justice, the statement says.

York County has to designate an employee or consultant to serve as “primary contact for disability-related issues and concerns,” within 15 days of the settlement, according to the settlement.

York County will pay the man $20,000 in compensatory damages, according to the settlement.

“Unnecessary barriers in the hiring process can lead to discrimination against individuals with disabilities who are seeking employment,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband said in a statement. “The Civil Rights Division is committed to fighting for equal opportunity in job competition and applauds York County for agreeing to eliminate extraneous job requirements that may limit their pool of potential employees.”

The complainant was referred to the Department of Justice through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Charlotte District Office.

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Hannah Smoot reports on money and power for The Herald, covering York, Lancaster and Chester counties. She has been a reporter at The Herald since June 2017. Contact Hannah at 803-329-4068, hgsmoot@heraldonline.com or follow her on Twitter @hgsmoot.
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