EEOC Sues Cheesecake Factory for Disability Discrimination

     The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently filed a lawsuit against The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. for failure to provide a reasonable accommodation to a newly hired employee, Oleg Ivanov, who suffered from a disability.  The lawsuit alleges that Cheesecake Factory refused to provide Ivanov, who is deaf, with orientation training that included closed captioned video or American Sign Language interpretation.  The company was aware that the employee was deaf prior to hiring him but still failed to grant Ivanov’s requests for a reasonable accommodation.  The lawsuit further alleges that the inadequate orientation training disadvantaged Ivanov’s ability to track his constantly shifting work hours and his ability to use Cheesecake Factory’s online scheduling system.  The Americans with Disabilities Act mandates that employers provide reasonable accommodations to employees who suffer from a disability unless the accommodation would create an undue burden.  See EEOC v. Cheesecake Factory, Inc., No. 2:16-cv-1942 (W.D. Wash.).

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