In an article published June 19, 2011, (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/20/nyregion/ny-enforces-ban-on-police-officers-using-hearing-aids.html ) the New York Times reported the New York City police department has banned the use of hearing aids on the job. Two officers who were forced to retire because they did wear hearing aids on the job have filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), saying that the policy is discriminatory toward people with hearing loss.
On April 20, 2010, I blogged about the US Marshal Service’s decision to allow for testing of hearing loss with hearing aids on. That was terrific! We are pleased that our work contributed to the US Marshal Service revisiting this issue.
But we cannot stop there. We have heard from consumers that there are other employers who do not understand that if there is a need for a hearing test, that test should be done with hearing aids or the cochlear implant on.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Science Blog on Workplace Hearing Loss (NIOSH) has a posting dated November 24, 2009, that describes a new surveillance system and seeks input from readers on a series of issues to help inform future prevention efforts. To review the posting and provide input, visit the NIOSH blog.
Read the following three stories below:
- President Obama Announces New Initiatives During National Disability Employment Awareness Month
- U.S. Department of Labor steps up efforts to serve workers with disabilities
- U.S. Labor Department announces agreement on national technical assistance center for employers on people with disabilities
President Obama Announces New Initiatives During National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Justice for All Action Network (JFAAN) is a cross disability coalition of national organizations by and for people with disabilities. HLAA has joined and now serves on the steering committee and the employment committee.
Last Friday, we joined others from JFAAN to meet with Assistant Secretary of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) Kathy Martinez, at the U.S. Department of Labor to discuss a number of issues impacting people with disabilities:
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has not yet completed the regulations for the new legislation. However, the Job Accommodation Network has developed a publication and resource page regarding what information is currently available about the Act.
The new publication is called JAN's Accommodation and Compliance Series:
Ramundo Ruiz worked as a guard at the federal courthouse in Victoria Texas until 2006, when he was fired after failing a hearing test. He was not, however, allowed to use his hearing aids during that test. Mr. Ruiz and others were allowed to wear glasses or contacts during vision tests, but a 2001 rule barred them from wearing hearing aids during the hearing test. Mr. Ruiz filed a federal suit in 2007.
Law Enforcement Officer, A Hearing Aid User, Fired from His Job
A federal judge in Columbus, Georgia ruled that it was lawful to fire a man from his job as a court security guard because he could not pass a hearing test without the use of hearing aids. The employee, Wilbur Allmond has appealed the decision. If it is upheld, the decision could affect the status of people with hearing loss working in law enforcement positions across the country.