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PAROWAN — This small southern Utah city violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by asking unlawful questions about job applicants' disabilities, the U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday.
Parowan has reached an agreement with the DOJ to refrain from conducting medical exams or making inquiries about the presence or severity of applicants' disabilities before making job offers, "unless such examination or inquiry is shown to be job-related and consistent with business necessity," the federal agency announced in a prepared statement.
Parowan and two New Mexico cities, Espanola and Ruidoso, also agreed to train employees in charge of hiring on the legal provisions of the ADA and designate a person to be in charge of compliance with the law. Information from job applicants and employees related to their disabilities may only be kept in confidential files, the agreement stipulated.
These agreements ensure that job applicants with disabilities will have an equal chance to compete for jobs in the public sector and won't face illegal questions.
–Vanita Gupta, DOJ
“These agreements ensure that job applicants with disabilities will have an equal chance to compete for jobs in the public sector and won’t face illegal questions,” said Vanita Gupta, principal deputy assistant attorney general of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division. “We commend each public entity for its cooperation in making the job application process more accessible.”
Parowan and Ruidoso also reportedly agreed to conform with industry standards by making their online employment websites more accessible to individuals with disabilities affecting their vision, hearing or manual dexterity.