EEOC sues Broomfield manufacturer on ADA complaint

BROOMFIELD — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing Carefree/Scott Fetzer Co. for refusing to hire a deaf worker at its Broomfield factory.

According to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of Colorado, the EEOC alleges Carefree refused to hire a deaf applicant for a job in its RV awning factory in 2016 despite her having the prerequisite experience in warehouse work.

Carefree hiring managers allegedly told the applicant and a contractor with the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation they had safety concerns over having a deaf worker being near heavy machinery, but didn’t attempt to provide reasonable accommodation, the suit claims.

The EEOC also said Carefree hired several other less qualified applicants without disabilities instead, including a former felon who the company later fired for timecard fraud.

Carefree and the worker failed to reach agreement in a mediation process over this summer.

The EEOC is asking Carefree pay the applicant back wages with interest to be determined at trial, and to implement anti-discrimination hiring policies.

In a statement, EEOC Denver Field Office Director Amy Burkholder said it’s illegal to refuse to hire someone because of a hearing disability.

”Hiring decisions should be made based on qualifications, not on fears or stereotypes about people with disabilities,” she said.

Carefree is a subsidiary of Ohio-based manufacturing conglomerate Scott Fetzer Co., which in turn is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

In an emailed statement, Carefree said it could not comment on the details of the case while it’s under litigation.

“As Carefree of Colorado has not been served, it has not yet had an opportunity to review the complaint,” the company wrote. “Carefree prides itself on being an equal-opportunity workplace and has confidence in the judicial system to repudiate these claims.”

BROOMFIELD — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing Carefree/Scott Fetzer Co. for refusing to hire a deaf worker at its Broomfield factory.

According to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of Colorado, the EEOC alleges Carefree refused to hire a deaf applicant for a job in its RV awning factory in 2016 despite her having the prerequisite experience in warehouse work.

Carefree hiring managers allegedly told the applicant and a contractor with the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation they had safety concerns over having a deaf worker being near heavy machinery, but didn’t attempt to provide reasonable accommodation, the suit claims.

The EEOC also said Carefree hired several other less qualified applicants without disabilities instead, including a former felon who the company later fired for timecard fraud.

Carefree and the worker failed to reach agreement in a mediation process over this summer.

The EEOC is asking Carefree pay the applicant back wages with interest to be determined at trial, and to implement anti-discrimination hiring policies.

In a statement, EEOC Denver Field Office Director Amy Burkholder said it’s illegal to refuse to hire someone because of a hearing disability.

”Hiring decisions should be made based on qualifications, not on fears or stereotypes about people with disabilities,” she said.

Carefree is a subsidiary of Ohio-based manufacturing conglomerate Scott Fetzer Co., which in turn is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

In an emailed statement, Carefree said it could not comment on the details of the case while it’s under litigation.

“As Carefree of Colorado has not been served, it…