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Kmart Discriminated Against Qualified Worker, Suit Claims
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 1, 2003

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI--An employment discrimination suit has been filed against Kmart Corporation, claiming it failed to hire an Overland Park, Kansas man because of his mental retardation.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the suit Tuesday in St. Louis. The EEOC is the federal agency that handles employment discrimination cases under the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.

The suit alleges that Kmart did not hire Edward Jones, 35, even though he was qualified to perform the job of merchandise stocker. It also claims that Jones scored higher on the company's pre-employment questionnaire than other applicants who were hired for the job.

"It is important that employers realize that obeying the law, with respect to the ADA, means not making hiring decisions based upon stereotypes or prejudices regarding applicants with either physical or mental limitations," said Lynn Bruner, director of the EEOC's St. Louis office, in a statement.

The Associated Press reported that the suit seeks back pay, unspecified damages and an injunction to keep Kmart from discriminating against people with disabilities in the future.

Kmart's spokesperson declined to comment on the case, except to mention that the company has been trying to reach a "fair and equitable resolution" with Jones and the EEOC.

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