American Settles Quadriplegic's Lawsuit

May 21, 2002 ( - American Airlines has settled a discrimination suit by, among other things, agreeing to do a better job of keeping disabled job applicants informed about the status of their employment applications.

In the 2001 suit filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged that the air carrier violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). American didn’t hire Karry Lawson as a reservations agent because he is a quadriplegic, the EEOC claimed.

Lawson never found out whether the Dallas-Fort Worth company would make any reasonable accommodations to allow him to do the job, the EEOC said.
For its part, American claimed it was still considering Lawson’s job application when Lawson took the dispute to the EEOC.

As part of the settlement, American Airlines has revised its current application procedure and will now notify disabled job applicants for reservation agent positions at its Southern Reservations Office of the status of their requests for accommodation at specific times during the application process.

“While we are disappointed that this matter proceeded to litigation, we are nonetheless pleased that it has been resolved,” said Lauri Curtis, vice president of Reservations and executive sponsor of American’s Employees with Disabilities Resource Group. “Our record for hiring persons with disabilities, especially in Reservations, speaks for itself.”