SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
THE CITY OF WOODLAKE
- The Parties to this Settlement Agreement are the United States of America and the City of Woodlake, California (“City”).
- This matter is based on an investigation of the City by the Department of Justice (“Department”) for alleged violations of title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA” or “title I”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq., and its implementing regulation, 29 C.F.R. Part 1630.
- The Parties agree that it is in their best interests, and the United States believes that it is in the public interest, to resolve this dispute without engaging in protracted litigation. The Parties therefore have voluntarily entered into this Agreement, and agree as follows:
II. TITLE I COVERAGE AND FINDINGS
- This matter is based on Section 107(a) of title I of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12117(a), which incorporates by reference Section 707 of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-6.
- The City is a person within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12111(7) and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(a), an employer within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12111(5) and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(b), and a covered entity within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12111(2).
- The United States alleges that the City is engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination by maintaining a policy whereby applicants for job vacancies are required to undergo an unlawful pre-employment medical examination before receiving an offer of employment, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 12112(d).
III. GENERAL AGREEMENT
- The City shall not discriminate against qualified individuals on the basis of disability in violation of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. § 12112(a).
- The City shall abide by all of the requirements of the ADA, including the requirement that it not conduct any medical examination or inquiry before making an offer of employment as set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 12112(d).
- The City shall:
(a) eliminate its policy of requiring job applicants to undergo a pre-employment medical examination before receiving an offer of employment;
(b) develop and implement a written “Disability Rights Policy” that outlines the City’s obligations under title I of the ADA, including:
(i) not to discriminate against individuals with disabilities in making personnel decisions, including, but not limited to, hiring or promoting employees;
(ii) not to make disability-related inquiries or conduct medical examinations of an applicant before making an offer of employment;
(iii) once a conditional job offer is made, not to make disability-related inquiries or conduct medical examinations of an applicant, unless this is done for all entering employees in that job category regardless of disability; and
(iv) not to make disability-related inquiries or require medical examinations of an employee, unless such examination or inquiry is shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity, as required by title I of the ADA;
(c) revise all hiring policies and practices, including as stated in the City of Woodlake Rules, to comply with the requirements of title I of the ADA and the EEOC’s “Enforcement Guidance: Preemployment Disability-Related Questions and Medical Examinations,” available at http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/preemp.html; and
(d) revise all City publications, including websites relating to any facet of employment, employment opportunities, and/or the process of applying for employment, to be consistent with the requirements of title I of the ADA.
- Within 120 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City shall provide training on title I of the ADA, including the City’s responsibilities relating to medical examinations or inquiries of applicants, to (i) all employees who participate in making personnel decisions, (collectively “supervisors”), and (ii) all new supervisors, who participate in personnel decisions, whether by hire or promotion, after the effective date of this Agreement and within 90 days of the start of their supervisory position.
- The City shall ensure that all training manuals or written materials dealing with City employees and hiring policies and practices, revised or created after the effective date of this Agreement, are consistent with the provisions of this Agreement, and shall provide, upon request by the United States, copies of all such training manuals and written materials dealing with City employees and hiring policies and practices for review by the Department for compliance with the provisions of this Agreement.
- The actions described in paragraphs 7-11 of this Agreement shall be completed by the City within 120 days of the effective date of this Agreement, unless otherwise specified therein.
- The City shall not retaliate against any person because that person has opposed the City’s allegedly discriminatory policies or practices in any manner, or because that person has cooperated with the Department’s investigation of the City’s employment practices or any proceedings connected with that investigation or with the administration of this Agreement.
IV. IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT
- In consideration for the terms set forth above, the United States will not institute a civil action alleging that, based on actions that occurred prior to the date of this Agreement, the City has violated title I of the ADA by engaging in a pattern or practice of requiring job applicants to submit to unlawful pre-employment medical examinations, except as provided in paragraph 17 below.
- Failure by the United States to enforce any of the provisions of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of its right to enforce other provisions of this Agreement.
- If any term of this Agreement is determined by any court to be unenforceable, the other terms of this Agreement shall nonetheless remain in full force and effect.
- The United States may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the United States believes that this Agreement or any portion of it has been violated, it will raise its concerns with the City and the Parties will attempt to resolve those concerns in good faith. The United States will give the City 60 days from the date it notifies the City of any breach of this Agreement to cure that breach before instituting an enforcement action. If the United States is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within 60 days of the date it provides notice to the City, it may institute a civil action in the appropriate United States District Court to enforce this Agreement or title I of the ADA.
- This Agreement shall be binding upon the City, its agents, and employees.
- A signatory to this document in a representative capacity for each Party represents that he or she is authorized to bind that Party to this Agreement.
- This Agreement is not intended to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other law that is not specifically addressed in this Agreement.
- This Agreement does not affect the City’s continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.
- This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the United States and the City on the matters raised herein and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by any party or agents of any party, that is not contained in this written agreement, including its attachments, shall be enforceable.
- The Parties to this Agreement agree that this Agreement is a public document and the City waives any and all claims that the Agreement or any part of the Agreement is confidential. A copy of this Agreement or any information contained herein may be made available to any person, and the City or the Department of Justice shall provide a copy of this Agreement to any person upon request.
- The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
- The duration of this Agreement will be two years from the effective date.
AGREED AND CONSENTED TO:
For the City of Woodlake, California:
Thomas T. Watson
Attorney for City of Woodlake
401 Clovis Avenue, Suite 208
Clovis, California 93612
For the United States of America:
THOMAS E. PEREZ
Assistant Attorney General
Senior Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General
ALLISON J. NICHOL, Chief
ALBERTO RUISANCHEZ, Deputy Chief
KATHLEEN P. WOLFE, Special Litigation Counsel
ALYSE BASS, Senior Trial Attorney
MEGAN E. SCHULLER, Trial Attorney
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
Date: August 1, 2012