Dollar General Spurned Online Applicant After Seeing Bad Arm

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By Patrick Dorrian

A Dollar General store manager in Georgia refused to go forward with a scheduled job interview with a woman who applied for work through the company’s website after seeing she wears her left arm in a sling, the EEOC charged in a federal court complaint ( EEOC v. Dolgencorp, LLC , S.D. Ga., No. 6:17-cv-00100, complaint filed 7/21/17 ).

The lawsuit is at least the third the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed since May accusing an employer of canceling a job interview with an applicant after finding out that the worker was or appeared to be disabled. At least one of those prior cases also involves a worker who applied online and was denied a chance at a job when the interviewer met the applicant in person.

Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring on the basis of disability and the other traits protected by federal anti-bias law is one of the six national priorities set by the EEOC in its strategic enforcement plan for 2017-2021.

A Portal, Ga., store manager violated federal law when she told Terri Mosley, “You can’t work here with that arm” and that Mosley would be “a liability” risk if hired by Dollar General, the federal job discrimination watchdog asserts in the latest lawsuit, which was filed July 21 with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. Mosley sustained a brachial plexus injury in a 2013 car accident that substantially limits her neurological and musculoskeletal systems, the EEOC says.

Mosley, who had been a regular customer at the store where she applied for work, could have safely and effectively performed the duties of the sales associate position she sought, despite her arm condition, the EEOC alleges. Dollar General also unlawfully denied Mosley work at the store because she complained about the store manager’s mistreatment via the company’s human resources hotline, the agency says.

The EEOC declined to comment on the lawsuit when contacted July 24 by Bloomberg BNA.

A Dollar General spokeswoman told Bloomberg BNA in a July 24 email that the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

Turned Away at Door

Mosley applied online for the sales associate position on Sept. 7, 2015, and the store manager contacted her the next day to set up an interview at the Portal store on Sept. 9, according to the EEOC.

Mosley arrived at the store that day shortly before its 8 a.m. opening, the EEOC says. The store manager arrived as Mosley was knocking on the door, to see if any employees were already in the store, and allegedly remarked, “I didn’t know that was you,” before adding that Mosley couldn’t work at the store “with that arm.”

The store manager went on the say that Mosley would be a liability if hired and that the store manager would be blamed if something bad happened as a result of Mosley’s arm condition. Mosley began to cry, and the store manager told her to come back at 9 a.m. to give the store manager a chance to talk to the Dollar General district manager.

However, when Mosley returned at 9, the store manager told her she hadn’t spoken with the district manager. The store manager never subsequently contacted Mosley to reschedule the interview, the EEOC asserts.

An EEOC attorney in Savannah, Ga., represents the commission. No attorney has filed an appearance yet for Dolgencorp LLC, which does business as Dollar General.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Dorrian in Washington at pdorrian@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at maulino@bna.com; Terence Hyland at thyland@bna.com; Chris Opfer at copfer@bna.com

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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