Legal Question in Disability Law in Maryland

Blind Job Applicant for Child Day Care Center

I have a friend with a small child day care center - 25 children, 7 paid staff. An applicant phoned about an advertised position and at the end of the interview the applicant mentioned they were blind and asked if that caused a problem for my friend. My friend said yes because part of the job entails escorting children to and from the school bus stop and supervising children while they play on playground equipment and inside the center. The applicant said she could have an assistant show her the way to the bus stop, but didn't say who would pay for the assistant nor whether the assistant would be available at all times the applicant would be scheduled to work. My friend stressed the issue of the childrens safety and said she did not think the applicant would be qualified. The applicant called back a couple of days later and angrily declared that my friend had discriminated against her. My friend feels that reasonable accomoditing this applicant would cause an undue hardship on such a small business and, given the size and income of the business, she should not be required to accomodate this person. Is my friend correct? Could her actions be considered discrimination under the ADA?

Asked on 4/19/99, 6:34 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Barbara C. Johnson Law Office of Barbara C. Johnson

Re: Blind Job Applicant for Child Day Care Center

Size is a factor in all antidiscrimination

statutes. You don't say how many employees your

friend has. Tell your friend to

consult a local counsel, who can then explain to

your friend her/his obligations, if any, under the statute.

Barbara C. Johnson

Law Office of Barbara C. Johnson

6 Appletree Lane

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Answered on 4/20/99, 1:48 am

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